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Laporta leads the way on Tenerife

Laporta leads the way on Tenerife

Francesco Laporta carded the lowest round of his European Tour career to hit the front after day one of the 2021 Canary Islands Championship.

Francesco Laporta

The Italian was a picture of consistency last week at Golf Costa Adeje as he went 68-67-67-71 but he showed he had truly found his feet in the final event of the Canary Islands Swing, posting a 62 to get to nine under and lead by one from home favourite Scott Fernandez.

There were then two more Spaniards in Adri Arnaus and Alfredo Garcia-Heredia at seven under alongside Frenchman Joël Stalter.

Laporta triggered the second 59 Watch of the day as he got to nine under after 14 holes but parred his way in to card his best round of the 2021 Race to Dubai by five shots.

The 2015 Qualifying School graduate has two wins on the European Challenge Tour and came close to a maiden European Tour win last season as he finished second at the Golf in Dubai Championship presented by DP World.

After missing his first two cuts of the season, he has been under par in ten of his last 11 rounds and teed it up this week after his best finish of the season four days ago.

"It was one of those days when everything goes in the right direction," he said. "I started thinking about 59 also, when I was nine under through 14. On 17 I was putting for birdie from five metres. I was thinking 'just make this and go for eagle on the last'.

"I wasn't so lucky on the last hole, my drive went into the trees. But I'm still nine under so I'm pretty happy about the round.

"You start to feel a bit of pressure when you start to think about a 59 but then you just need to concentrate on your game and try to do your best."

The 2019 Challenge Tour Number One birded the first and third and then hit irons inside 12 feet into the seventh, eighth and ninth to turn in 30.

He bogeyed the tenth but bounced straight back with an eagle and shared the lead with an approach to six feet on the next.

A two putt birdie on the 13th handed him the solo lead and when he put his tee shot to six feet on the 14th, he led by two.

You start to feel a bit of pressure when you start to think about a 59 but then you just need to concentrate on your game and try to do your best

Arnaus made the most of the 11th, chipped in for eagle at the 13th and then put his tee shot to 12 feet on the next to quickly be four under after five.

A bogey on the next stalled his momentum but he took advantage of the first, holed from 25 feet for an eagle on the third and hit impressive irons into the fifth and sixth to get to seven under.

Stalter also started on the back nine and he chipped in for eagle at the 11th, recovered from a poor tee shot with a stunning approach to the next and then birdied the 13th.

A dropped shot followed on the 14th but he continued his dominance of the par fives with birdies on the 18th, first and third, put his tee shot to four feet on the fifth and holed a 20 footer on the sixth to lead alone.

But he dropped a shot on the eighth to slip into a four way tie, which Laporta soon left.

Fernandez surged into second with a four birdie finish to his opening 63.

The 28-year-old birdied the first and eighth to turn in 33 and then eagled the 11th, birdied the 13th and dropped a shot on the next before his big finish.

Garcia-Heredia made just seven pars in a roller coaster round that saw him make nine birdies and two bogeys.

He took advantage of the five par fives while also putting his approach to four feet on the sixth, holing 12 footers on the seventh and ninth, and draining from 20 feet on the 14th.

Wales' Rhys Enoch was the first man to trigger a 59 Watch as he eagled two of his first three holes and was eight under after eight but had to settle for a six under 65 alongside Spaniard Pep Angles, Canadian Aaron Cockerill, South Africans Louis de Jager and Justin Harding, Ireland's Paul Dunne, Scottish duo Calum Hill and Richie Ramsay, England's Richard Mansell and Finn Kalle Samooja.

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