Friday, 25 May 2007

Argentina’s Eduardo Romero continued the seamless transition from The European Tour to life among the over-50s by defying 30 mph winds to snatch the first round lead in the 68th US Senior PGA Championship with a four under par 68 at Kiawah Island's Ocean Course in South Carolina.

Romero teed off early and posted his low round to lead Japan's Joe Ozaki by one shot with American Chip Beck a further shot behind on a day where only seven players in the 156-man field managed to break the stiff par of 72.

Nick Price, the 1994 Open Champion and 2006 Senior PGA Championship runner-up Brad Bryant were in a group of players on one under, while Jay Haas of the United States launched his defence of the title with a level par 72.

The only blemish on Romero's otherwise flawless card was an 18th hole bogey, where he came up a club short with his approach and then failed to get up and down.

Romero, a stalwart of The European Tour for many years before joining the European Seniors Tour and winning the Wentworth Senior Masters in 2005 and 2006, commented: "I hit the driver in the fairway, good putting, good concentration, very solid. It's very good for me to start like this. Because normally I'm just a bad starter in all the tournaments and then I get better and better, but it's tough to do. But four under is perfect."

Romero’s best birdie of the day came at the 439 yard tenth hole. Proving that wind isn’t always a bad thing on the Ocean Course, the Argentine unleashed a 360 yard drive downwind, flipped a lob-wedge to three feet and made the putt.

Mark James of England and Costantino Rocca of Italy, the latter enjoying his second Seniors appearance, are the next best placed of the European Seniors Tour contingent after both opening with two over par 74s.

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