Less than a week after finishing tied 15th as he attempted to defend his Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex title, Paul Broadhurst fired a first round of 66 at Renaissance Club to take a one shot lead after the first round of the Scottish Senior Open.
The Englishman, who won this tournament on his European Senior Tour debut in 2015, carded six birdies before a bogey on the 18th hole saw him finish with a five under par total in testing conditions in North Berwick.
After competing in The Open at Royal Birkdale and then Senior Open Championship at Royal Porthcawl, Broadhurst believes he is becoming accustomed to the weather traditionally associated with links courses.
“Wind and rain is all I’ve played in over the last three weeks,” said Broadhurst. “The Open, the Senior Open and now here. I’m getting used to it, but it’s never easy. You’re never sure what sort of score you’ll post.
“I played really well today and hit some quality iron shots. You needed to pick your shot, hit it off the back foot and drill it low today. I had a lot of chances and the last was probably the only shot I didn’t commit to all day.
“All the pros look at the gloom and doom, but I played really well all the way around. You would definitely take five under after a day like this.”
Trailing the 2016 Senior Open Champion by one stroke are Magnus P Atlevi and Mike Harwood.
Atlevi, last season’s Rookie of the Year, recovered from a bogey on the second hole to make the turn two under par and made further gains on the tenth, 13th and 16th holes to finish four under par.
“It was tough out there; I think we are all feeling it after expending a lot of energy last week,” said the Swede. “I’m didn’t get off to the best of starts, but made two long putts soon after and went on from there.
“My game feels like it’s coming together and I’m happy with the start I’ve made. It’s about mental toughness out there. You have to accept things and get on with it in these conditions.”
Australia’s Harwood, who is in search of his second Senior Tour victory, is pleased with his game plan on the links of Renaissance Club.
“You have to have a good stroke on these greens, and I feel like I have that,” said Harwood. “My game plan is to play away from the ugly spots on the green and not make too many mistakes.
“I’ve been putting well for the last few weeks but not playing well, but today I played a lot better.”
One shot further back is England’s Carl Mason, the record winner on the Senior Tour with 25 titles, and Barry Lane, Tim Thelen and Paul Wesselingh share fifth spot on two under par.
Admission is free of charge, with car parking charged at £5 per car with one occupant and £10 per car with two or more occupants. All proceeds go to Prostate Cancer UK.
|6||ATLEVI, Magnus P||SWE||18||-7|