David Shacklady posted an opening round of 67, five under par, to hold a two-stroke lead at the end of day one of the European Tour Destinations Senior Classic at PGA Catalunya Resort.
The Englishman carded six birdies, with his sole blemish coming on the 18th hole, to move clear of the rest of the field after a tough scoring day at the acclaimed Spanish venue.
South Africa’s Chris Williams and Greg Turner of New Zealand are in hot pursuit of the 2018 VTB Russian Open Golf (Senior) Champion after both recording three under par rounds of 69 to sit two off the pace after 18 holes in Girona.
The 52-year-old took charge with five birdies in his opening ten holes and despite a bogey on his final hole was delighted to end day one at the top of the leaderboard after a mixed start to his second Staysure Tour season.
‘’I’m really pleased to come in with a 67,’’ he said. ‘’It’s a hell of a golf course out there and with the wind picking up over the last few holes we needed to play long irons into every flag, which was making scoring tough. The greens are very tricky out there as well, so I’m absolutely delighted to come in with that.
‘’I just putted really well out there today and was able to get the pace of the greens, as well as holing some nice putts early on.
‘’I stayed patient and felt calm today which I haven’t so far this season. I seem to be struggling in the opening round of events this year and then plugging my way up the leaderboard as the tournament progresses, so it’s good to post a good score early on and we’ll see what happens over the rest of the week.’’
A group of five players, including home favourites José Manuel Carriles and Santiago Luna, sit three strokes behind Shacklady. While defending champion Magnus P Atlevi is a further shot back after recording an opening round of 71, one under par. He sits alongside a group of seven players, including former World Number One Ian Woosnam, in a tie for ninth place.
It was a historic day for England’s Nick Job, who teed up his 306th start on the over-50s circuit to equal Denis O’Sullivan’s Staysure Tour appearance record, two decades after the 69-year-old's debut at the 1999 Energis Senior Masters.
Shacklady will continue his bid for his second Staysure Tour title when he gets his second round under way at 10:30am local time, with Turner teeing it up at 9:40am and Williams beginning day two at 10:40am.
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