Ondrej Lieser held the course record going into the D+D Real Czech Challenge Open, turned professional a day before the tournament started on his home course and carded nine birdies on the opening day. This week could be a life-changing one for the talented young Czech.Lieser is just 21 years of age and is regarded as one of the most talented players the country has produced – backing up those claims with a four under par opening round of 68 despite two double-bogeys and a bogey.
The opening day also saw his course record of 64 at Kunetická Hora Golf Club, where he is a member, equalled by the stunning performance of Robert Dinwiddie.It is fair to say that it has already been an eventful week for a player who is looking to follow in the footsteps of compatriot Marek Novy, who became the first Czech player to earn a Challenge Tour card following a fifth place finish in the EPD Tour Rankings this year.
“It’s a great week for me,” said Lieser. “I just turned pro two days before the tournament. I just came back from the World Amateur Championship in Turkey so I am a bit tired but I feel good.
“It’s pretty good to have a tournament like this on my home course, you see all the players out there playing the course on which I have a course record. We will see if I keep the record or not!“I shot that round two years ago at a Club Championship. It’s one of the proudest moments of my career, having a course record in my home club.
“I had an eight under par round at the First Stage of Qualifying School too so that could be my best score ever, because of what tournament it is.“It was my first time at Qualifying School so it is a lot of pressure and now I have turned professional but I’m just looking for some good scores at Second Stage and hopefully it will be good enough.”
Lieser is one of five Czech players who have made it through to Qualifying School Second stage, a trend which is increasing by the year as the Eastern European nation develops into a real golfing stronghold.
“I hope one of us can get through Qualifying School and play on the Challenge Tour or The European Tour,” he said. “That would be so good for Czech golf.“I want to have some good scores this week and make the cut. It is my first tournament as a pro so anything beyond making the cut would be a bonus this week.”