Argentine Horacio Carbonetti fired a four under par 68 to lead the Van Lanschot Senior Open but he will have his brother Luis breathing down his neck, with the younger sibling in a group of seven players one stroke off the pace.
Horacio posted five birdies and dropped just one shot on the 13th hole at The Royal Haagsche Golf and Country Club in The Netherlands to move clear at the top of the leaderboard after the first round.
The 62 year old would have been joined by Luis – who is five years younger than him – had his brother not bogeyed the sixth hole – his 15th – after an eagle on the previous hole saw the pair locked on four under par.
Instead Luis had to settle for a 69 but his elder brother Horacio, whose best European Tour finish of tied 19th came in the 1981 Dutch Open, is hoping the siblings can both contend for the inaugural title.
“Luis is a very good player and it would be great if we were both in the final group on Sunday,” said Horacio. “He is a better putter than I am but I hit the ball straighter. If we put our games together we’d be a great player!
“I played very well today – I hit every fairway and green apart from the 13th when I made bogey and I had no three putts. I was very consistent and it is a tough course to be consistent on.”
The brothers have previous in terms of sitting alongside each other at the top of a leaderboard, with Luis winning his third Senior Tour title in the 2005 Tobago Plantations Seniors Classic with Horacio, who has two Senior Tour titles to his name, finishing runner up.
“I don’t think we’ve ever been in the last group together on a Sunday so that would be nice,” said Horacio. “We’ve played together in the final of the Argentine Amateur Championship one year and I won!”
Joining the younger Carbonetti brother on three under par were former Ryder Cup player Gordon J Brand, Marc Farry, Angel Franco, Nick Job, Andrew Oldcorn and Denis O’Sullivan.
For Oldcorn, the 2001 PGA Champion, his 69 came as something of a surprise after suffering mild sunstroke in the pre-tournament Pro-Am.
“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 the Scot. “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.”
Former Ryder Cup winning Captains Sam Torrance and Ian Woosnam posted rounds of 73 and 76 respectively.
|3||BRAND, Gordon J||ENG||18||-8|