Hopefuls gather at picturesque Pestana

1/28/2013 12:00:00 AM
Simon Brown (pic by Phil Inglis) ()
Simon Brown (pic by Phil Inglis) ()

Glorious sunshine greeted the 75 hopefuls gathered at Pestana Golf Resort for the Senior Tour Qualifying School Finals as they began their quest to secure a berth on the 2013 Schedule.  

The 58 qualifiers from Stage One were joined by 17 exempt players at Pestana’s Vale da Pinta Course, in Portugal’s picturesque Algarve region, for the ninth edition of the four-round qualifier.

Six full and eight conditional cards are on offer to the field, which will be reduced after three rounds, with all players within eight shots of the lead competing on the final day.

England’s Simon Browne made an explosive start to his first round, following up a birdie on the 11th hole – his second – with an eagle at the next to race to three under par through three holes.

His compatriot Nick Mitchell was also fast out the blocks, notching birdies at the 10th and 12th holes to move to two under par alongside fellow Englishman Steve Cipa, who birdied the sixth and eighth holes.