Mark Laskey shot a brilliant eight-under-par 63 to take a two-stroke lead into the second round of the Rowallan Castle Open, despite opening with a bogey in the eighth event of the 888poker.com PGA EuroPro Tour season.
The Welshman finished 19th on last seasonâ€™s Order of Merit but is yet to win an 888poker.com PGA EuroPro Tour title. He leads by two from Irelandâ€™s Tim Rice (Limerick) at Rowallan Castle Golf Club in Ayrshire. Scotlandâ€™s Paul Doherty (Vale Hotel), who held the lead ahead of the final round at Concra Wood last week, is third on five under.
Laskey (Brocket Hall) began his opening round on the ninth, where he made bogey six. However, it was a run of five consecutive birdies from the 11th that set him on his way to a 63. Birdies at 18, one and three followed and he concluded his round with a two on the par-three eighth.
â€œI started with a bogey but kept my head and kept playing well,â€ said Laskey. â€œI made five birdies in a row but wasnâ€™t really noticing; I was in a relaxed zone today.
â€œI did a lot of practice over the weekend because my game was struggling over the last week and it has paid off. I was hitting it nice and straight today and I putted well.
â€œWinning is obviously the goal but I wonâ€™t be thinking too much about it yet. If conditions stay as they are then I could see it being something between 12 and 15 under par that wins, so even with the score I am on now I still have to keep pushing and see what happens. There are plenty of good golfers who can shoot low out there.â€
Rice, who also started on the ninth, shot two eagles and four birdies on his way to a six-under 65, with bogeys at 18 and five costing him a share of the lead.
Doherty shot eight birdies in his first round but bogeys on the sixth, tenth and 11th were blemishes on his card. Six golfers are tied fourth on four under, four off the lead.
Spectator entry to the course is free throughout the week and a two-hour highlights package of the event will be broadcast on Sky Sports HD at 8pm on Tuesday, August 13, repeated on Wednesday, August 14.