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Friday, 01 August 2008

Eduardo Romero and Juan Quiros led the European Seniors Tour challenge at the end of the first day of the US Senior Open after three under par rounds of 67 left them trailing leader Fred Funk by two strokes at The Broadmoor GC.

Argentina’s Romero made his mark early in the day with five birdies and two dropped shots while Spaniard Quiros, winner of the Irish Seniors Open at Ballyliffin in June, mixed six birdies with three bogeys to join Romero on three under 67 alongside Tom Kite in Colorado Springs.

John Cook, who lost a play-off for the Senior Open Championship presented by MasterCard on Sunday, stood alone in second place after his opening 66 which led for much of the day.

Mark McNulty also broke par on the first day of the Senior Major with a one under par 69 while Des Smyth carded a 70, as did Greg Norman.

Funk, who admitted to being worn out by a visit to nearby Seven Falls and the climb of 400 steps on Tuesday night, shrugged off the tiredness to claim the early lead.

"I'm real pleased," said Funk, who tied for 11th in his only other US Senior Open appearance in 2006. "It actually could have been … I hate to say it, it could have been a lot lower. I think I could have shot a 61 or 62 out there today. I had enough opportunities to do that."

Cook bounced back from the disappointment of Sunday’s play-off defeat at Royal Troon to card a 66.

"I didn't like the way it finished last week at all," said Cook, who let a lead slip and lost on the first sudden death play-off hole to Bruce Vaughan. "Second is not good.

"This week, I had a nice practice round, and once I decided that this week has started now and it's a different week, different tournament, another Major Championship, I can put that last week behind me until I get home next week."

Romero, who led after the first round in the US Senior Open Championship last year and finished third last week at Royal Troon, said: "My mind is completely open now. Since my victory in New York (on the US Champions Tour), I'm a different guy.

"My game is completely different. My putter is working now. Last year my putter was not so good. but now it's working nice and I'm feeling a lot of confidence."

Among the other European Seniors Tour players competing in the US Senior Open, Ryder Cup Captains Mark James and Bernhard Langer opened their accounts with two over par rounds of 72, Costantino Rocca and another past Ryder Cup Captain Ian Woosnam finished at four over par while Sandy Lyle and Sam Torrance finished on six and nine over respectively.

 

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