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Friday, 19 March 2010
England's Maurice Bembridge recorded a fine five under par 66 to storm into a two shot lead after the first round of the tenth annual Lawrence Batley Seniors tournament at Huddersfield GC.

Bembridge, 56, the former GB & I Ryder Cup star who is seeking his first Seniors Tour victory since the 1998 Swedish Seniors Championship, carded five birdies and an eagle on the 491 yard 14th to open up a two shot lead over Scotland's John McTear.

McTear, who won the recent PGA Seniors Club Pros Championship at Trentham Park, Coventry, came home in three under par 32 to finish with a three under par 68, one shot in front of Northern Ireland's Eddie Polland, America's Jerry Bruner and Englishmen, Nick Job and Malcolm Gregson

A large group comprising last week's winner Denis O'Sullivan, Craig Defoy, Peter Townsend, Ian Stanley, Simon Owen and former Batley Seniors winner, Antonio Garrido all shared seventh place .on one under par 70.

"I suppose you have got to put that down to hard work," said Bembridge, a veteran of four Ryder Cup matches during the late 1960s and early 1970s. "I've been struggling with my driver and my putter for the last few weeks but I've practised a lot to iron out the problems and today things were much better."

John McTear started his round at the 10th and went out in an incredible three under par 32 that included just one par figure.

The Scot opened his first nine with that solitary par on the 308 yard par 4 10th before registering three successive bogeys from the 11th. He then birdied the 491 yard par 5 14th and that started an incredible burst that included three birdies and an eagle over the next four holes.

"I can't remember the last time I put together a set of figures like that," said the former club pro at Cowglen, Glasgow.

"It was spectacular stuff. When I got to our 5th I turned to my caddie and told him that I didn't think I deserved to be three over par. Somebody must have been listening because I more that made up for those three bogeys after that."

Unfortunately, it was not such a good round for another Scot, the defending champion David Huish. Huish, the Head Pro and Club Manager at North Berwick played his first nine holes in 39 before coming home in a 41 that left him 14 shots off the lead.

Compatriot, Bernard Gallacher also had a day that he would rather forget. The former Ryder Cup captain, who finished third at the recent Wales Seniors Open at Royal St David's, was going along nicely when he lost two balls on his way to running up a disastrous triple bogey eight on the par 5 14th hole. He returned a 74 that left him eight shots behind Bembridge.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1JOB, NickENG18-9
2COLES, NeilENG18-3
3GALLACHER, BernardSCO187
4DURNIAN, DenisENG18-4
5STANLEY, IanAUS18-2
T6SHEARER, BobAUS18-1
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