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Otaegui leads in Scotland after birdie blitz

Otaegui leads in Scotland after birdie blitz

Adrian Otaegui fired ten birdies in a flawless first round 62 to set a daunting clubhouse target on day one of the inaugural Scottish Championship presented by AXA.


A brilliant burst of scoring at the beginning of both nines helped Spaniard Otaegui reach ten under par on Thursday, handing him a four shot lead over nearest challengers and fellow early starters Aaron Rai and Garrick Porteous, who opened up with matching 66s.

Two time European Tour champion Otaegui began his first round with a hat-trick of birdies at the first, second and third before picking up another shot at the seventh to reach the turn in 32 at a cold Fairmont St Andrews.

The Spaniard then repeated the trick on the back nine, following up a birdie at the tenth with further gains on the par three 11th and long 12th to jump to seven under par.

He tapped in from around three feet at the 15th before closing with back to back birdies at the 17th and 18th to get into double figures under par.

Otaegui was pleased with his start to the tournament. He said: "Almost everything went well today.

"I started with three birdies and actually there were two birdie holes that I didn't birdie - the fourth and sixth - but then obviously I made some very good birdies on some other holes.

"I putted really well, I also played very well from tee to green and felt confident and relaxed - 62 is really, really good."

Rai, who is back in Scotland for the first time since claiming his maiden Rolex Series title at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open earlier this month, began his opening round with a bogey at the tenth but closed his front nine with four birdies in five holes from the 14th to get to three under.

After picking up another shot at the fourth, England's Rai holed close range birdie putts at the sixth and seventh to get to six under.

Porteous, who won The Amateur Championship in 2013, made back to back gains at the first and second before dropping his only shot of the day at the third.

He bounced back with a birdie at the fourth before picking up further shots at the sixth, seventh and ninth to turn in 31.

The Englishman then closed his round with a birdie at the par five 18th to join Rai on six under.

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