On a very wet and windy first day at Golf & Spa Kunetická Hora, Australian golfer Daniel Gaunt streaked four strokes clear of the chasing pack thanks to an exemplary eight under par round of 64 at the D+D REAL Czech Challenge.
As the rain lashed down for much of the day in the Czech Republic, the Englishman seemed unaffected, carding six birdies round the turn to bounce back from a double bogey at the second and pull clear of Max Glauert, Chris Lloyd and Pierre Relecom.
On an otherwise tightly packed leaderboard east of Prague, 51 players finished within four strokes of those in second place, with every single player no doubt thankful for the shelter the clubhouse provided at the end of a testing first day.
As for Gaunt, he was understandably ecstatic with such an impressive 18 holes, with one of his playing partners commenting that he “holed the world” as they left the recording area.
As for the chasing pack, it was Lloyd who might be most pleased with his play on Thursday, having struggled for his best form so far this season, thanks to a change in coach.
The Bristolian has returned to the tutor he first worked with at the age of ten, and after a two year break, the improvement is starting to show.
Relecom is alongside Lloyd in second after a bizarre incident on the 11th tee, his second hole of the day, when his playing partner’s club snapped on the downswing and propelled the club head onto the Belgians hand.
Thankfully the incident only resulted in a small bruise for the man on minus four, and he went on to play some of the best golf of this season so far. It was a similar story for Glauert, who is also in the best position he has been in for a while.
Behind them in a tie for fifth is form horse Cyril Bouniol, who is having a fine maiden campaign on European golf’s second tier. The Frenchman is alongside 2010 Rankings winner Alvaro Velasco, who countered four birdies with a solitary dropped shot on Thursday to put himself into a fine position after 18 holes.
A duo of Czech players have also fared well in the opening round, with Lukáš Lizánek and amateur Šimon Zach finishing the day in a share of 38th position at level par.
Source: European Tour