Everything you need to know from the opening round at Close House Golf Club.
Michael Campbell represented for the over 50s, Eddie Pepperell proved you can never have too much beef and the defending champion almost holed the same shot twice.
Here is everything you need to know from Thursday at Close House Golf Club.
David lays down the Law
It's fair to say David Law knows how to go low, having picked up three shots in his last three holes at the 2019 ISPS Handa Vic Open to snatch his maiden European Tour title by a single stroke. The 29-year-old was at it again on Thursday, reeling off seven gains in the space of eight holes from the sixth to record an opening 64 that left him top of the leaderboard.
Campbell rolls back the years
Even former U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell was surprised after putting himself in contention with a 68. Campbell, who became a Major champion at Pinehurst in 2005, has not made a cut on the European Tour since 2013 after struggling with a foot injury and loss of form. However, the 51-year-old New Zealander carded six birdies and three bogeys to lie four off the lead. “I’m completely flabbergasted,” said Campbell. “I haven’t played in eight months and only started practising two weeks ago. My expectations were pretty much none. I wanted to get out here and enjoy myself with my son Thomas who is on my bag this week. When I had my success from 1999 to 2005 he was only seven, so he can’t remember.”
Pepperell benefits from beefing up
Eddie Pepperell spoke pre-tournament about his weight loss after following a strict diet consisting of steak, liver and bone broth – and the extra beef appears to be paying dividends as the 2018 winner opened with a four under 67. “I didn’t start off so well, then grew into the round from five onwards,” he said. “Definitely could have got it to six or seven under... four under is a good start but it could have been better. My body feels pretty good. I played 18 on Monday, 14 yesterday and 18 today. I couldn’t have done that a year ago, or I wouldn’t have considered doing that – I'd have been in Newcastle with a glass of red wine. With all the time in your room, you think you don’t want to go back, so you might as well play.”
Westwood's round helps local youngsters
Tournament sponsors Betfred are donating £1,000 for every birdie host Lee Westwood makes to the Sir Graham Wylie Foundation, a charity that helps educate and inspire young people in the north east of England. The former World Number One made five gains in his opening 70 to get the total up and running with £5,000.
The shot so good it almost went in twice
Defending champion Marcus Kinhult walked off the 14th with a par – which in itself sounds unremarkable. But the Swede had found trouble off the tee and had to chip out onto the fairway. At that point a birdie seemed unlikely but Kinhult's wedge approach almost bounced straight in and nearly span back into the cup, leaving a tap-in for par.