Friday, 19 March 2010
Italy's Alberto Croce produced a wonder shot down his last hole to open a one shot lead after the first round of the Lawrence Batley Seniors tournament at Huddersfield GC.

Croce, the champion at this event in 1995, came to his last hole, the 420 yard par 4 ninth, standing at three under par but then hit a drive down the middle followed by a 120 yard wedge that bounced twice before rolling into the hole.

The Italian's dramatic eagle, his second of the day, meant he posted a five under par 66 and gave him a one shot lead over England's David Creamer. Scotland's Mike Miller carded a two under par 69 to shared third place with Australia's Terry Gale and Northern Ireland's David Jones.

Canada's Bill Hardwick and England's Jim Rhodes both posted one under par 7Os.

"I was very lucky out there today," said Croce, winner of the 1995 Lawrence Batley Seniors and the 1999 Temes Greek Seniors Open. "I chipped in for my first eagle from off the back of the 491 yard par five 14th and then followed that up with a great wedge on my last hole.

“I just wish I could do that more often."

Creamer recovered from a poor start on his way to carding his three under par 68. He started on the tenth, dropped shots on the 11th and the 12th, before recording birdies on the 18th, first, second, third and sixth holes. "It was a nice round," he said. "I have had some trouble with my shoulder but it didn't bother much out there. Who knows, it might even have helped me slow down my swing."

Some of the bigger names also performed well on a day in which the wind gusted up to 20 mph and the firm underfoot conditions made approach shots extremely difficult to judge.

Former Ryder Cup Captain, Bernard Gallacher, played his first nine holes in one under par 34 and was still one under the card before dropping a shot when he three putted the last. He carded a 71 to finish in tie for eighth place alongside Nick Job, Peter Townsend and Denis O'Sullivan.

Tony Jacklin also started well. The former Open and US Open champion, making an emotional return to his home patch in the north of England, was two under par through his first six holes before dropping three shots to finish on one over par 72. He went into the second round tied for 12th place alongside Jerry Bruner, Delroy Cambridge, Neil Coles, Denis Durnian, Seiji Ebihara, John Grace, John Morgan, Ian Mosey, David Oakley and Simon Owen,

"I played better than I scored," was how Jacklin described his round. "I thought I hit a lot of good shots but just couldn't get anything to happen.

"I have to admit I found it quite difficult," he added. "I'm not used to this sort of golf any more. Over in America you can hit a ball straight into the green and know the ball is going to stop. Here's it's different. You have to pick a spot to land it on and then hope it does what you think."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1BEMBRIDGE, MauriceENG1821
T2STULL, SteveUSA18-4
T2COLES, NeilENG18-4
T2CREAMER, DavidENG18-4
5O'SULLIVAN, DenisIRL18-3
6CROCE, AlbertoITA18-2
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