Julian Suri shot an impressive five under par round of 67 in difficult conditions to take a one-shot lead after the opening day of the Copenhagen Challenge presented by Ejner Hessel.
The American, making his second start of the season on the European Challenge Tour, started his round from the tenth and carded a bogey-free front nine, with a birdie on his opening hole before a birdie-eagle finish ahead of the turn.
The 32-year-old’s only dropped shot came on the back nine at the second hole, but further gains at the third and fifth saw the former DP World Tour winner sign for an impressive round of 67.
Suri, who made his first cut of the season at last week’s B-NL Challenge Trophy in the Netherlands, was pleased with his work on the opening day at Royal Golf Club in Copenhagen.
“I feel like I’m trending in the right direction, and I’ve just got to be as consistent as I can over a four-day span,” he said.
“I had the win here in Denmark in 2017 and I was reminded recently that I was in the final group of a Challenge Tour event in Denmark back in that year as well. I always enjoy coming back here, the people are super nice and it’s nice to see some sun.
“Last week was a good experience for me. It was my first four days in-a-row and my first cut made since the French Open last year which was in September, so nine months ago. It was nice to get four rounds going and get in the swing of things from Thursday to Sunday.”
Suri, who won the 2017 Made in Denmark on the DP World Tour, rekindled those winning memories to battle through gusty conditions on a course that he feels at home on.
“I like playing golf courses like this because they really let you know where your game is at," he said. “In windy conditions like these, there is no faking it. For the most part I felt as if I was in control of my ball, my swing and nothing felt out of sync.
“For me, going forward, that’s huge. So, whatever happens, happens and I just want to keep the good feelings going and keep working on the same things and keep trucking along.
“It was chilly this morning and I started on the back nine and made a bunch of pars, and then took care of the par fives, and played solid from then on in.
“Once you put yourself in the fairway you can be aggressive because 18 is a short par five. The key is putting yourself in the fairway, which isn’t easy with the cross winds, but once on the fairway you can be aggressive.”
Setting the pace on day one 💪 @JulianSuri1 leads the way in Denmark. #CopenhagenChallenge— Challenge Tour (@Challenge_Tour) May 25, 2023
With winds gusting throughout the morning and picking up in the afternoon, Suri’s morning score could not be topped. Alexander George Frances leads the charge for Denmark and is a shot behind Suri at four under par joined by Englishman Jack Senior, while six players lie a further stroke back at three under par.
Day two gets under way at 7.30am local time, with Suri teeing it up alongside Frenchman Robin Roussel and Czech Stepan Danek at 1.10pm.