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Friday, 19 March 2010
Australia's Terry Gale recorded the lowest round of the 2002 European Seniors Tour season when he carded a flawless seven under par 62 to move into a four shot lead after the first round of the GIN Monte Carlo Invitational at the Monte Carlo GC.

The Australian started his round with eight straight pars but then birdied the 385 yard par four ninth before storming home in six under par 29 to go into the second round with a four shot lead over England's Keith MacDonald.

New Zealand duo Simon Owen and Bob Lendzion shared third place after carding two under par 67s.

The fireworks started when Gale holed from six feet for his first birdie of the day on ninth. He also birdied both the tenth and the 11th before finishing with further birdies on the 14th, 15th, 16th and 18th,

"That's the best I have played for a long time," said the Australian who went into the Monte Carlo event languishing in 54th place on the Seniors Tour Order of Merit.

"I have been having a terrible time on the greens for most of this season but suddenly I started holing the putts today.

"I don't know how to explain it," he added. "I just hope I can do it again."

MacDonald has also been struggling with his putter since winning the PGA Senior Club Professionals Championship earlier this summer.

The club professional at Goodwood started well with birdies on the 574 yard par five first and the 213 yard par three second. He dropped shots at both the fifth and the ninth but then came home in 33 with further birdies at the 11th, 14th, 16th and 18th. His sole dropped shot on the back nine came at the 394 yard par four 13th where he took three putts from the edge of the green.

"I have been hitting it well for most of the season but have been letting myself down with the putter," he said. "Today I got a couple in and that made all the difference. It's nice to hole a few at last."

Spain's Manuel Pinero made a solid start to his career on the European Seniors Tour when he opened with a one under par 69 to share fifth place with Ray Carrasco, Denis Durnian John Irwin, Mike Miller, Ian Mosey, Jim Rhodes and Ian Stanley.

The former Ryder Cup star carded 17 pars and one birdie on the 337 yard par four fifth hole where he hit a wedge to three feet and then slide in a curling left ot right putt.

"I was a little bit rusty because I have not been playing much competitive golf for the last couple of years," he said.

"Bu it's great to be back. I enjoyed it a lot.

Pinero plans to divide his time between the European Seniors Tour and his other burgeoning business interests.

“I am hoping to play about 12 or 13 tournaments each year and I would like to think I will get a bit sharper once I have a few more starts under my belt.

"I feel like a kid again," he added. "It's just like starting out again."

It proved to be a disappointing day for the two former champions in the field.

America’s John Grace lost a ball with his first drive but then played the next 17 holes in level par to return a 71. Tommy Horton finished second at last week’s De Vere Hotels Seniors Classic at the De Vere Slaley Hall but failed to reproduce that sort of form while carding a three over par six over par 75.

Gary Player also had his fair share of problems. He dropped two shots over his opening four hole and eventually carded a four over par 73.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1DURNIAN, DenisENG18-4
2MORGAN, JohnENG18Par
T3MILLER, MikeSCO184
T3PLAYER, GaryRSA184
5HORTON, TommyENG188
6GARRIDO, AntonioESP1810
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