England's David Creamer continued his fine start to the 2001 European Seniors Tour season when he opened with a four under par 68 during the first round of the Beko Seniors Classic at the Gloria Golf Resort in Antalya, Turkey.
Creamer, 58, who finished second behind Brazil's Priscillo Diniz at the Tour's opening event in Barbados last month, produced a total of five birdies to finish the round a single shot behind the leaders, Japan's Seiji Ebihara and Australia's Bob Shearer.
"I am delighted with the way I have started the new season," said Creamer, a former English international table tennis player and a man who has had undergo two operations to remove tumours from his brain.
"I don't think I played quite as well as I did in Barbados but it's still a good start on a course as tough as this.
Creamer finished the round one shot behind Ebihara and Shearer and on level terms with Australia's Terry Gale, New Zealand's Barry Vivian and England's Malcolm Gregson.
Gregson, a former Ryder Cup golfer and the winner of five titles on The European Tour, played well throughout his round and he got a bonus when he holed-in-one with a six iron on the 170 yard fourth hole.
"That was a big help but I've got to say that I was delighted with the way I played," he said. "I felt very rusty when I started out which I don't suppose was all that surprising. It has all been very difficult for us of us who live in Britain because the weather has been so bad that we have hardly played any golf at all."
Former Ryder Cup captain, Bernard Gallacher, escaped the inclement British weather when he escaped for a week's golf at Lake Nona, Florida, last month and it seemed to set him up for the start of his season because he open with a fine three under 69 to share seventh place alongside Manuel Sanchez, Alan Tapie, Renato Campagnoli, Bobby Verwey and last years European Seniors Tour Number One, Noel Ratcliffe.
Gallacher, 52, is determined to win his first title on the European Seniors Tour and he is to enter virtually all of this year's 23 events in an all-out effort to achieve that goal.
"To be honest, up until now, I don't think I've given myself much of a chance because I haven't played enough but this year it's going to be different. I'd love to win out here and I plan to give myself plenty of opportunities to do it.
Two Seniors Tour debutants had mixed fortunes during the first round in Turkey. New Zealand's Simon Owen, the man who chased Jack Nicklaus all the way at the 1978 Open Championship at the Old Course, St Andrews, opened with a steady level par 72 but former European Tour regular Mike Miller, from Torrance, Scotland, could only manage a 75 and will have to improve if he is to make the cut after the second round.
Most unusual round of the day came from Australia's John Tolhurst who finished in a tie for 13th place after a two under par 70 in which he hit just four greens in regulation.
In his own words, the Australian hit the ball "sideways" all day but, to make amends, he did have a hole-in-one on the 13th, holed a bunker shot and had just 21 putts in all.
"It wasn't pretty, I can tell you," he commented before heading to the practice ground.