A back nine completed in just 29 strokes propelled Martyn Thompson to the top of the FSC Invitational leaderboard on six under par in the HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro Tour event at The Astbury in Bridgnorth, Shropshire.
The Dorset golfer (Parkstone Golf Club) shot an opening-round 64 to lead by one stroke from five golfers, with a further four players four under following an impressive first-day of scoring at K.K. Downing’s par-70 course.
Thompson started on the tenth tee and was level par at the turn after birdieing the tenth but bogeying 15. Birdies at one and two took him to two under, and he shot up the leaderboard after an eagle at the par-fourth sixth and birdies at seven and eight.
Zack Saltman (Archerfield Links Golf Club), Kris Nicol (Paul Lawrie Golf Centre), James Maw (Rockliffe Hall), Jack Winer (Best Fruit Ltd) and Darren Wright (Rowlands Castle Golf Club) are all just one behind after carding opening round 65s.
Among those tied seventh on four under is Amateur Champion Garrick Porteous (ISM), who turned pro after competing in The Masters in April, and Scott Drummond (Skills Group UK Ltd), who won the PGA Championship at Wentworth in 2004.
HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro Tour Order of Merit leader Jack Senior is two under, four behind leader Thompson while second on the money list William Harrold is three under as both look for their third win of the season.
The FSC Invitational is a 54-hole event played over three days, concluding on Friday, June 13. The final round will be filmed for a two-hour highlights package to be broadcast on Sky Sports HD on Tuesday, June 24, with repeats the following day.
Spectator entry is free throughout the week. The tournament carries a £40,000 prize fund with £10,000 to the winner. A £18,000 Hole In One prize will be on offer during Friday’s round for any golfer who aces the par-three 18th.