Andrew Oldcorn’s vow to adopt a more positive first round attitude paid off as he fired a three under par 69 to share the clubhouse lead in the Van Lanschot Senior Open.
The Scot, who turned 50 at the end of March, is tied at the top with Marc Farry, Angel Franco and Nick Job, as he continues to enjoy a strong start to his European Senior Tour career.
Three-time European Tour champion Oldcorn is currently tenth in the Order of Merit after four top ten finishes so far this season but he admits poor first rounds have cost him the chance to be in contention to win a maiden Senior Tour title.
The winner of the 2001 PGA Championship certainly began brightly at The Royal Haagsche Golf and Country Club in The Netherlands, posting birdies on the 11th and 12th holes after starting on the tenth tee.
He picked up another shot on the 18th before bogeys on the third and sixth after the turn – shots he then regained with birdies on the seventh and ninth to share the lead despite admitting he wasn’t actually very happy with the way he played.
“Stupidly I didn’t put any suncream on yesterday and I didn’t feel right at all this morning – I think I got a bit of sunstroke and, to be honest, I played awful, in terms of how I swung the club,” said Oldcorn. “Ironically I’ve played miles better than that in a lot of the tournaments this year but I’ve never started well.
“I’ve finished events well but I’ve been too far behind. I think I’ve adjusted now – I know I have to be more positive in the first round.
“One thing I’ve learned in the six events I’ve played is that you can’t have a bad first round, not in a three round tournament, so I’m absolutely delighted to shoot three under. I hit a lot of poor iron shots but I rescued myself with some good putting. I think I’ve found something with my putting in the last few weeks.
“There are a lot of danger holes but there are a lot of birdie holes too. I was three under on the harder nine and then made a few errors on the other nine but I made a nice birdie on the seventh and then holed a really good putt on the ninth. All in all then I was very happy because I didn’t feel right and I didn’t play well! I would never have thought I’d shoot three under with the way I felt this morning.”
If Oldcorn’s start was bright then Farry’s was even more impressive. The Frenchman eagled the first hole – stopping his eight iron approach form 170 yards just four feet from the pin – and then birdied the second.
From there onwards he posted five more birdies but also three bogeys and a double bogey on the 14th when his approach ran off the back of the green and he lost his ball.
Farry won the Handa Irish Senior Open presented by Fáilte Ireland and is hoping to play himself into contention again.
“It was a great start – I was three under after just two holes and I hit some good shots,” said Farry. “I do like the course – it’s tough but the pins were fair today.
“My putting was probably better than my game today. I missed two or three shots that I would have made in Ireland when I won but it is a different type of course – this is more of a links course whereas Ireland was more of a target course. It’s good to be contending again though.”
Paraguayan Franco has been in superb form this season, posting five top five finishes to sit third in the Order of Merit and he is chasing his maiden Senior Tour title having finished second on seven occasions – including twice this year.
He said: “The course is very difficult and it was very hot but I had five birdies today and I played very well.”
Former Ryder Cup Captain Sam Torrance opened with a one over par round of 73 to lie four shots off the pace.
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