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Superb Senior senses 59 at Hanbury Manor

Superb Senior senses 59 at Hanbury Manor

Jack Senior literally led from the front as he turned in for a stunning 29 in the opening round of the 2020 English Championship.

Jack Senior

Senior has already made headlines in recent weeks when carded the first ace since golf resumed due to the coronavirus pandemic, which halted the European Tour schedule for more than four months.

He hit a hole-in-one at the 14th during the first event of the six week UK Swing at the Betfred British Masters hosted by Lee Westwood last month, with event sponsor Betfred donating £50,000 to the tournament's Official Charity - the Sir Graham Wylie Foundation.

The 32-year-old was in the first group of the opening day at Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel & Country Club, alongside fellow Englishman Ross McGowan and Spaniard Eduardo De La Riva, and mounted his challenge from the off.

Senior carded birdies at the first and par five second before extending his early advantage to three under with another gain at the par three fourth.

Senior finished the front nine on the trail for only the second 59 in European Tour history after Oli Fisher carded a 12 under par first round at the 2018 Portugal Masters.

An eagle two on the par four seventh saw Senior jump to five under before successive birdies elevated him to seven under and turn in for 29.

He remained at seven under following consecutive pars to start his back nine as the chasing pack tried to close in.

South Africa's Wilco Nienaber, who was only included in the field as a late replacement on Wednesday, took full advantage of his unlikely opportunity as he sat in sole second at five under through nine holes.

An eagle at the second set the 20-year-old on his way before birdies at the sixth, eighth and ninth moved him one clear three players in a tie for third.

A birdie-eagle start from Steven Brown saw him start brightly before adding another gain at the fourth to reach four under through five.

Danish rising star Rasmus Højgaard, who has posted top ten finishes in the first two legs of the UK Swing, was also at four under after five holes following birdies at the first, second, third and fifth.

Spaniard Adrián Otaegui was at the same mark through eight after gains at the first, second, fourth and seventh.

Senior's playing partner De La Riva was in a quintet four shots behind the leader, alongside fellow Spaniard Pablo Larrazábal, New Zealand's Ryan Fox, Swede Rikard Karlberg and Frenchman Joël Stalter.

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