Phil Golding picked up where he left off in the first round of the Dutch Senior Open, carding a five under par 68 a week after winning the French Riviera Masters.
The Englishman finished the day one shot clear of Argentina’s Jorge Berendt and two in front of Jerry Bruner, George Ryall and European Senior Tour debutant Chris Van der Velde.
Former Ryder Cup captain Ian Woosnam opened with a two under par 71 at The International in Amsterdam, a course he co-designed, and shares sixth place with Tim Thelen, Angel Franco and Rick Gibson.
Golding began his round with birdies at the second and third holes before hitting a six iron into six feet for another birdie on the par five eighth. He made further gains at the 11th and 15th but then immediately made amends by hitting a five iron to ten feet for his sixth birdie of the round.
“This is a tough course and the wind was pretty strong, so I have got to be pleased with a 68,” he said.
“I managed myself nicely. I did drop a shot when I three-putted from about 25 feet on the 16th but that was the only blemish on my card so I can’t be too hard on myself, and I would definitely have taken five under before I started out this morning.
“I seem to have started out this week just as I left off in France which is good. Last week I tried to play conservatively and I did the same today. It’s all about hitting fairways and greens. That might sound like a bit of a cliché but it’s what you have to do out there.
Berendt has not claimed a top ten finish all season but that might change after a four under par 69 left him just one shot off the pace on a blustery day in which just 18 players were under par.
The Argentinian’s round exploded into life when he eagled the 18th – his ninth – and he would have had a share of the lead were it not for a bogey on his final hole.
“The eagle at the 18th got me going and I played some good golf after that,” said Berendt. “I got a bit lucky in places but for most of the day I played as well as I have done all season. It was a shame to drop a shot on my last hole but it’s still a very good start.”
Van der Velde owns a golf course in Oregon but he was determined to make the trip across the Atlantic in order to make to make his Senior Tour debut in front of his home fans.
“It was a big day for me,” he said. “I don’t get the chance to play much competitive golf but after today I’d like to play a bit more. The job now is to keep it going over the weekend.”
Round 1 golf scores:
68 P Golding (Eng) ,
69 J Berendt (Arg) ,
70 G Ryall (Eng) , C Van Der Velde (Ned) , J Bruner (USA) ,
71 A Franco (Par) , R Gibson (Can) , I Woosnam (Wal) , T Thelen (USA) ,
72 P Fowler (Aus) , M Farry (Fra) , P Linhart (Esp) , D O’Sullivan (Irl) , S Luna (Esp) , T Price (Aus) , B Lane (Eng) , G Emerson (Eng) , G Rusnak (USA) , L Carbonetti (Arg) ,
73 C Monasterio (Arg) , S Brown (Eng) ,
74 M Harwood (Aus) , A Saddington (Sco) , S Cipa (Eng) , P Jonas (Can) , D Smyth (Irl) , G Manson (Aut) , M Martin (Esp) ,
75 G Wolstenholme (Eng) , K Spurgeon (Eng) , J Gould (Eng) , G Brand Jnr (Sco) , C Mason (Eng) , D Russell (Eng) , R Drummond (Sco) , W Grant (Eng) ,
76 C Williams (RSA) , J Sallat (Fra) , A Sherborne (Eng) , R Rafferty (Nir) , P Eales (Eng) , B Cameron (Eng) , M Davis (Eng) ,
77 M McLean (Eng) , J Smith (USA) , D Durnian (Eng) , M James (Eng) , P Walton (Irl) ,
78 S Tinning (Den) , M Cunning (USA) , B Conser (USA) , G Brand (Eng) , T Giles (Eng) , M Mackenzie (Eng) , A Oldcorn (Sco) ,
79 A Bossert (Sui) , J Carriles (Esp) ,
80 S Torrance (Sco) , B Longmuir (Sco) , M Piñero (Esp) ,
81 N Job (Eng) , D Hospital (Esp) ,
85 A Garrido (Esp) ,
90 N Ratcliffe (Aus) ,
Source: European Tour