Tim Dykes blasted seven birdies in his opening round of the final stage of the 2010 PGA EuroPro Tour Qualifying School at Frilford Heath to lead by one shot at five under par.
Dykes (Wrexham GC) bogeyed the second hole at the start of the round but powered down the remaining holes on the front nine of the blue course, firing four birdies from the fourth hole to the turn to sit at three under. Further birdies came at the tenth, 13th and 14th for the Welshman, before he dropped a shot at 15, finishing with three pars to shoot a fine 66.
Lee Clarke held the lead earlier in the day at four under par thanks to an opening round of 69 on the red course. Clarke (Everbuild Building Products) began his round on the back nine with a bogey at the tenth, but recorded back-to-back birdies from 16 to move through his front-nine at one under. Three further birdies came at the first, third and sixth holes to see Clarke card a four-under round of 69.
Clarke is joined by Graham Benson (Leighton Buzzard) who set off on the red course with four birdies on his first five holes and those shots proved decisive after sandwiching back-to-back birdies at 11 and 12 with his only dropped shots of the day at the eighth and 15th.
Three birdies in his last three holes of the red course made the difference for Matthew Maguire as he sits one stroke behind Clarke. Maguire (Dave Gordon Golf) was level after cancelling out birdies at six and 15 with bogeys at seven and 11 before his birdie run to the clubhouse saw him post a first round score of 70. Matthew Swales (Cumberwell Park) eagled the eighth – his 17th – on the blue course to card 68 and also finish three under for the day.
James Heath began with a level par back nine of the blue course, blighting his card with a bogey at the first but then recovering with birdies at the second, sixth and eighth to shoot 69 and sit in a group at two under. Aran Wainwright (Mid Yorkshire), Scott Bubb (WPGC) Rhys Black (Sherwood Forest GC), James Watts (amateur) and Ross Cameron (Saltire Energy) also carded rounds of 69 on the blue course to sit at two under, while Mark Thomas (Hillsborough GC) and Steve Mitchell both recorded scores of 71 on the red course to join them.
Players who began on the red course play the blue course on the second day and vice-versa, with the top 120 players plus ties tackling the blue course in Friday’s final round. The final stage of Q School holds a Â£16,000 prize purse, with the winner also taking home a car for six months thanks to Mercedes-Benz – the official car of the PGA EuroPro Tour.
[url=http://europro.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/europro10/event/europro1025/contest/1/leaderboard.htm]The complete first round scores from both courses at Frilford Heath can be viewed here.[/url]
Date Posted: 07/04/10