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Busby leads the way after tough opening day

Busby leads the way after tough opening day

May 3rd, 2011

James Busby is leading the way after a tough opening day to the 2011 PGA EuroPro Tour season.

In windy conditions in the YourGolfTravel.com European Championship at Wensum Valley in Norfolk, Busby was one of only two players to score under par.

Shropshire-based Busby, who turned 29 last week, enjoyed a flawless round and claimed birdies at the second, 14th and 18th to end the first day at the top of the leaderboard.

Busby is hoping to go one better than an agonising campaign in 2010 when he missed out on a place on the Challenge Tour by one spot in the Order of Merit.

Seven players last year advanced from the EuroPro Tour to the Challenge Tour but Busby came eighth after a finish of only 28th in the Tour Championships left him just outside of the top seven.

Busby was also left rueing two second-placed finishes last year – at Stoke-by-Nayland and Wychwood Park, where he had held a one-shot lead going into the last but a double bogey seven denied him the victory.

But Busby has bounced back strongly and holds a two-shot lead over Martin LeMesurier, the only other player to score under par.

Back-to-back birdies on the 12th and 13th left LeMesurier (South Winchester) in a good position, although a bogey at the 17th brought him back down to one-under.

Nine players are on level par with a further ten players on one-over ahead of the second round on Wednesday.

Woodsome Hall-based Chris Hanson, who is one of a host of players three shots behind Busby on level par 72, said: “I went nicely out though. It was tough out there and very windy too! I need a good one tomorrow but I love the battle of what Wensum offers.”

Scott Drummond, the 2004 Volvo PGA Championship winner, is three-over, as is Graeme Clark, who came top of the EuroPro Tour Order of Merit in 2007.
Another former top money winner, Noel Fox, is also on three-over as he hopes to replicate his successes of 2008 when he won more money than any other player.

It was a poor day for two of the local golfers in the tournament. Alexander Holmes (Gorleston Golf Club) faces a battle to make the cut after a triple-bogey seven at the fourth and then four successive bogeys from the 8th to 11th holes.

Neil Lythgoe (Royal Norwich) also endured a miserable time as he finished on nine-over after dropping seven shots on the first six holes.

All players will play a second round and the top 50 players and ties at the end of it will advance to the final round on Thursday.

Each event on the PGA EuroPro Tour is produced by Matchroom Sport into a two-hour highlights programme, which will be broadcast on Sky Sports and televised around the world. The action from Wensum Valley will be shown on Sky Sports on Wednesday, May 18.

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