Huldahl storms into lead in Catalunya

27/09/2012 19:39:38
Jeppe Huldahl ()
Jeppe Huldahl ()
Former European Tour winner Jeppe Huldahl carded an incredible ten birdies, seven on his front nine, on the way to an eight under par 64 to take the lead after the opening round of the Challenge de Catalunya.

The Dane recorded his best result in four months on the European Challenge Tour in last week’s ALLIANZ Golf Open Toulouse Metropole with a tied 13th finish and he continued in that vein of form at Golf La Graiera in Northern Spain to move a shot clear of Scotland’s Chris Doak on eight under.

Huldalh teed off on the tenth hole and got off to a stunning start, birdieing his first hole before a par at the 11th was followed by six birdies in his next seven holes to reach the turn in seven under par.

The wheels came off his amazing round somewhat when the 2010 Wales Open winner bogeyed the tenth hole after a poor drive before dropping another shot thanks to a three-putt at the par five fourth hole but he bounced back with three consecutive birdies from the fifth hole to put himself in with a shot of a second Challenge Tour victory.

“My putting was really good,” said Huldahl, whose sole Challenge Tour win came at the Lexus Open in 2008. “I was disappointed with my bogey on the fourth hole but there are so many good holes to look at in that round. My iron play was really good, I hit it close, left easy putts and holed them.”

Huldahl has struggled to build any consistency this year but did manage a runner-up finish in the ALLIANZ Open Côtes d’Armor Bretagne in May.

However, the 30 year old admitted he has had some stressful times off the golf course which have played a part in his poor form but believes he is on the road to recovery.

“I have a nine month old daughter and she was born with a problem in her brain so we have spent seven months going through hospitals and surgeries,” he said. “She is fine now but it did put lot of weight on my shoulders for a while.

“I have struggled this season and there is still a lot of work to be done but in the last couple of weeks my game has improved.”

Doak’s hunt for a first win on the Challenge Tour continued as the Greenock man signed for a seven under par round of 65 to finish the day in outright second place while the home challenge was led by Jordi Garcia Pinto, who was in tied third place on six under par alongside Luke Goddard, Espen Kofstad, Alessandro Tadini and Stuart Davis.