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Jorge Campillo opens up commanding lead in Cromvoirt

Jorge Campillo opens up commanding lead in Cromvoirt

Jorge Campillo produced a brilliant birdie blitz to lead by three shots after the first round of the 2023 KLM Open.

The three-time DP World Tour champion carded ten birdies and a solitary bogey in a sensational opening 63 to reach nine under par.

Having started at the tenth tee on Thursday morning, Campillo reeled off four successive birdies from the 11th and picked up further shots on the 16th, 18th and first before his only bogey arrived at the second.

He then finished with a flourish, taking advantage of the front nine's two par threes - the sixth and eighth - and closing his round with a birdie on the ninth.

Andy Sullivan, Joël Stalter and Pablo Larrazábal were Campillo's nearest challengers on six under after their 66s.

Home favourite Joost Luiten was in the large group another shot back alongside Englishmen Dale Whitnell and John Parry, Spaniards Alejandro del Rey and Adrian Otaegui, India's Shubhankar Sharma and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

Campillo made a lightning-quick start, following up close-range birdies at the 11th and 12th with another from 19 feet on the par-three 13th.

He then made it four in a row from inside five feet at the 14th before breaking the run with a par on the 15th.

The 36-year-old then converted birdie putts from around 15 feet at the 16th and 18th to reach the turn in 30 blows.

After beginning his back nine with a birdie from seven feet at the first, Campillo dropped his only shot of the day on the next hole.

But he recovered with a birdie on the par-three sixth before draining a monster birdie putt at the eighth and closing his round with another gain on the ninth.

Campillo said: "I played solid really. I hit it great, hit the driver fairly well, missed a few fairways here and there but hit great iron shots and only made one bogey. 

"I was 30 feet from birdie but hit it 60 feet past the hole - but overall I played really solid. 

"I keep doing the same things. I’m hitting my irons really well, the driver is a little inconsistent but on this golf course, it lets you play from off the fairway as well. 

"I putted great today, which I didn’t do in Belgium, so it was a nice day."

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