Andrew Oldcorn continued his fine recent run of form, firing a flawless five under par opening round of 67 to share the lead with Luis Carbonetti in the French Riviera Masters at Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort.
The Scot signed for his sixth consecutive under par round on the European Senior Tour, a streak that included a stunning 11 under par 61 in the final round of the WINSTONgolf Senior Open in Germany a fortnight ago, when he finished joint runner up behind compatriot Gordon Brand Jnr.
Having also finished tied ninth in the Travis Perkins plc Senior Masters three weeks ago and tied seventh in last week’s Russian Open Golf Championship (Senior), Oldcorn teed up in France on the back of three top ten finishes in a row.
The 53 year old is now hoping to capitalise on his soaring confidence over the weekend, after carding birdies on the sixth and ninth holes before the turn, then picking up further shots on the 11th, 13th and 14th holes on the back nine.
“There’s nothing quite like confidence in golf and obviously I drew a lot from that 61 a couple of weeks ago,” he said. “I’d been playing really before that but not putting well, so it was nice to follow it up with a solid week in Russia last week and then again today.
“It’s nice to hit the front at last and it is a position I like to be in. It’s no more than I expected to do though, because I’ve been playing well and confidence is high.
“I’ve always been someone who needs a run of tournaments to get in a run of form, so I’m looking forward to the next two days and the next few weeks.”
In contrast, three-time Senior Tour winner Carbonetti has been struggling for form this season and began the week in 50th position on the Order of Merit after only one top ten finish so far in 2013.
But he matched Oldcorn’s score after bouncing straight back from a bogey on the fifth hole with three birdies in a row, before further gains on the 11th, 16th and 17th holes.
“It was a very good round for me,” he said. “I hit many good putts and was in the middle of the fairway most of the round, except the fifth hole which I bogeyed.
“The putter was good today. I made many putts for par and that was the difference today. I like this course and I like the weather here, so it helps me to play better.”
Australian Peter Fowler, the 2011 Order of Merit winner, Englishman Philip Golding and Spaniard Miguel Angel Martin are all one shot back after opening rounds of 68.