America’s Clark Dennis fired an opening round of 69 to take a one stroke lead after the first round of the Dutch Masters at The Dutch.
Already a winner on the European Senior Tour this year, claiming the Senior Italian Open presented by Villaverde in September, Dennis carded three birdies to move clear in testing conditions in Holland.
The 51 year old started his round with a birdie on the tenth hole and then parred the next 11 holes before his second birdie of the day on the par three fourth hole. He then birdied the sixth hole, but dropped a shot on the eighth, settling for a two under par round and sole ownership of first place.
“That was a battle,” said Dennis. “It’s a difficult golf course and the conditions were difficult too. It was disappointing dropping that shot, it was the best iron I hit all day. The wind took it and I had a chip to six feet but didn’t make the putt.
“There are no easy holes out there, you’re playing conservatively into the middle of the green trying to make par. It’s a very good course, you won’t find a better golf course. It’s rewarding, but it also punishes bad shots – you can’t let your guard down.
“You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to play very smart. You can’t hit it at the pin all the time; you have to play intelligent golf.”
Winner of the Travis Perkins Masters in 2016, Switzerland’s André Bossert is joined by record Senior Tour winner Carl Mason and last year’s Senior Italian Open winner Stephen Dodd in a share of second place on one under par.
“It’s about time we got under par again,” said Bossert. “I love the course, and everything about this tournament is fantastic. I’ve got a good feeling and I’m starting to hit the ball a little better. It was a good round.
“We took our time out there, and I had a lot of help from my caddie Karl. The conditions were tough out there. I hit good second shots that weren’t far from the pins, and if I did miss the green I knocked it close.”
Peter O’Malley occupies fifth place after a level par round of 71. 13 golfers, including victorious 2014 Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley, are sixth on one over par.