Elliot Saltman set a new course record at the Formby Hall Classic in Liverpool with a 65 in the opening round at the Formby Hall Golf Resort & Spa to lead by two shots at seven under in the tenth event on the 2009 PGA EuroPro Tour.
Saltman (Aegon, pictured) entered the event in fourth spot in the Order of Merit with three events to play, and laid the foundations to take over at the summit with a brilliant front nine – an eagle at the third followed by three birdies to go out at five under. Birdies at the tenth and 13th moved him to seven under and although he dropped a shot at 17, he notched his sixth birdie of the day at the last to finish at seven under par, a new course record since the venue’s layout was changed.
Saltman is joined in Liverpool by younger brothers Lloyd and Zack (both Aegon) who both finished the day at three over par (75).
Challenge Tour regular Tim Dykes (Wrexham GC) holds second spot at five under, reaching the 15th at four under where he dropped his only shot of the day – but a strong finish with birdies on the last two holes saw him card an opening round 67.
Andrew Oldcorn (Kings Acre) sits in third spot after a four under round of 68, with the Scotsman five under through 12 with an eagle at the third before bogeys at 13 and 15 put the skids on his progress – a fourth birdie at 16 steadied the ship for the 49 year-old.
With the top five on the Order of Merit gaining Challenge Tour cards, James Busby (The Shropshire) couldn’t have timed his opening round of 69 any better. Busby sits in sixth spot on the money list and picked up three birdies without dropping a shot to finish three under for the day and is joined in fourth spot by Scott Henry (Cardross GC), James Hepworth (Ilkley GC) and Mark Kerr (Golf Fit Ltd/Bathgate GC).
A calamitous finish by George Woolgar (Capitalservices.com) ruined his earlier good work to leave him six shots off the lead at one under. Woolgar was three under to the par-three 13th but moved to five under there with a hole in one – but he went on to bogey the last four holes of his round to record a 71.
Order of Merit leader Scott Jamieson is level after the opening round along with Jack Doherty (North Gailes) who is third in the money list. Daniel Brooks (Mill Hill) is in second spot on the list but has plenty of work to do if he is to keep the pressure on Jamieson after carding a six over 78 in Liverpool. Graeme Clark (Doncaster GC) holds fifth spot in the money list but failed to make an impression in the North West, finishing with a 75.
The second round of the Formby Hall Classic from the Formby Hall Golf Resort & Spa begins at 7.30am on Thursday morning, with live scoring available via the Score Updates link on the homepage, where you can also find the full Leaderboard from the opening round.
Date Posted: 19/08/09, 7.45pm