Clément Sordet fought off a neck injury to post a sensational bogey-free nine under par round of 63 and storm into the first round lead of the B-NL Challenge Trophy by Hulencourt.
The five-time Challenge Tour winner birdied five of his opening six holes at Hulencourt, before adding four more on the back nine to move two clear of Denmark’s Martin Simonsen, Swede Simon Forsström, Switzerland’s Joel Girrbach and French duo Adrien Saddier and Jeong weon Ko, who share second on seven under par.
The 29-year-old was delighted to go low in Belgium despite suffering with a neck injury this morning, and he was grateful to this week’s physio Poora Singh for the treatment he received prior to his opening round.
“I’m very pleased with my round today,” he said. “I woke up this morning with a very sore neck and I didn’t think I would be able to play today. I went to see Poora the physio and that really helped me, so I am just grateful to be playing.
“I was focusing on my neck all day and wasn’t paying attention to my score. I was hitting my shots at about 70 percent, and I learnt a lot about my tempo which led to some great birdies.”
The Frenchman claimed his most recent Challenge Tour title at the SDC Open during the South African Swing at the start of the year and he is now targeting a second victory on the 2022 Road to Mallorca.
“I was happy with every part of my game today,” he said. “I think I only missed one fairway and one green. This course has wide fairways so you can have some easy wedge shots and then it’s all about making your putts. I’m going to enjoy the rest of the week and hopefully my neck improves and I can build on my good start.”
Czech Republic’s Filip Mruzek, Swede’s Christofer Blomstrand, Mikael Lundberg and Mikael Lindberg, Finland’s Kim Koivu and German amateur Carl Siemens share seventh place on six under par, while nine players are a shot further back in 14th place, including Englishman Tom Sloman and Belgian amateur Nathan Cossement.