Gonzalez sets the pace

4/29/2010 12:59:22 PM
Ricardo Gonzalez  (Getty Images)
Ricardo Gonzalez (Getty Images)

Argentina’s Ricardo Gonzalez shot a seven under par 65 to take the clubhouse lead at the first round of the Open de España.

The 40 year old SAS Masters champion carded a hat-trick of birdies from the fourth - his 13th - and picked up another shot at the last to overhaul England’s Paul Waring.

The former English Amateur champion had moments earlier compiled a six under 66, but in contrast to Gonzalez the 25 year old bogeyed his final hole.

There was then a two shot gap back to Gonzalez’s compatriot Rafa Echenique on four under.

Waring had an eagle and six birdies on the Real Club de Golf course in Seville.

Gonzalez has happy memories of the venue - it was on the same lay-out that he won the 2004 Open de Sevilla.

Waring got off to a real flying start, grabbing birdies at the first three holes and then hitting a four iron to eight feet for an eagle on the fifth.

He was relieved to simply be playing in the tournament. Unable to get home from Dubai over a week ago because of the volcanic ash cloud, the Birkenhead golfer was originally given a new flight date of May 1.

"We managed to get out on Sunday night, though, and flew here yesterday," he said. "I'm really happy with that start."

He has yet to have a top-five finish since gaining a European Tour card at the 2007 Qualifying School.

Dane Søren Kjeldsen and Dubliner Peter Lawrie, winner of the last two events on the course, had to be content with 71 and 72 respectively.