Jamie Savage holds a one-shot lead at the HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro Tour final stage of qualifying school after a superb 67 (-5) opening round.
The Scotsman, attached to Cawder Golf Club, heads into the second round with a shot lead over his nearest rivals after collecting just one bogey at Frilford Heath Golf Club, shot on the blue course.
Billy Watson (North Hants Golf Club) tied for fifth on -3 (69), stole the show with a stunning hole-in-one albatross on the blue course; a 316-yard par four.
Reflecting on his achievement, the Hampshire golfer said: “I’ve never had an albatross before in competitive golf, it was great to get one. Yesterday, I lost my ball on the same hole, but decided to go for the green today as it was downhill.”
He added: “My playing partner found it in the hole, I was searching for it elsewhere and couldn’t believe it; it was brilliant. I didn’t even think it had reached the green!”
Savage is closely followed by Englishmen George Twyman (Marbella Golf Country Club) and Kealan Lowe (The Wheatley Golf Club), and Isle Of Man’s Tom Gandy who all shot rounds of 68, collecting just three bogies between them.
Adam Stone (Lancaster Golf Club) and amateur Robert Mabb (Parkstone) occupy fifth spot, both shooting the lowest rounds of the day on the red course (69). Amateur Mabb collected an excellent eagle on the 8th on the way to shooting the joint lowest round on the red course.
Players are competing to earn the highest possible category on the 2018 HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro Tour. All those who have progressed to Final Stage have already earned at least a category 14, with golfers making the cut at the Final Stage cut earning a minimum category 10 and the top 30 earning a category 3.
240 golfers play one round each on the Red and Blue Courses at Frilford Heath on Wednesday, April 4 and Thursday, April 5 before a cut to the leading 80 players and ties play a concluding 18 holes on the Blue Course on Friday, April 6.