Argentina’s Luis Carbonetti shot the second lowest round in the history of the European Seniors Tour when he fired a nine under par 63 on the first day of the Digicel Jamaica Classic, in association with Sony Ericsson.
The Argentinean streaked to a five stroke lead at the Half Moon Resort, Montego Bay, thanks to a brilliant performance which was also the lowest opening round recorded on the Seniors Tour.
Australian Terry Gale, winner of last week’s Bosch Italian Seniors, returned a 68, along with American Jerry Bruner.
Gusty weather with occasional showers made the going difficult for most but Carbonetti handled the conditions nonchalantly.
“It was one of those days when the golf felt so easy. I don’t really know what happened but it felt so easy,” said Carbonetti.
His score was one short of Englishman Tommy Horton’s record round of 10 under par 62, which he shot in the 1997 Scottish Seniors Open.
He eagled the par five first, by hitting a three wood to 15 feet, and made nine birdies and two bogeys.
The hole appeared bigger than ever for the 51 year old as made three birdies on the trot from the 13th, all with putts from about 10 feet, before he nailed a 30 footer on the 18th. His back nine of six under par 30 was bogey free.
Carbonetti, whose older brother Horacio also plays on the Seniors Tour, finished in the top ten in the season opening events in Tobago and Barbados. Last year he competed on the US Champions Tour and played in 15 events but lost his card.
Gale picked up where he left off in Italy by playing some solid golf. He birdied three out of the last four holes to win last Sunday and made four birdies on the back nine today.
“I played steady and probably hit the ball better this week than last,” said Gale, who won back to back titles in Barbados and Tobago last year.
“It played tough out there. You really had to hit some good shots on the back nine. That 63 is a hell of a score,” added Gale.
England’s Carl Mason, the current leader of the Seniors Tour Order of Merit, shot a 73 in his first tournament back following a two week layoff due to a back injury. South African Gavan Levenson, in second place on the Merit list, carded a 74.
Defending champion Ray Carrasco from the United States came in with a 76.