Eddie Pepperell, from England, pops up to lead the Open de España from a tightly packed leaderboard to claim the outright lead after the first round.
Eddie Pepperell / Getyy Images
Eddie carded an opening round -4 under par under 68 at PGA Catalunya Resort to finish a shot ahead of a group of eight players. He said it looks like he has come out of nowhere, but his recent results have been good;
“Seemingly it’s come out of nowhere looking at my results but it’s very similar to last year. This time last year I started working with Mike Walker, and he made a big difference instantly. Then I went and did a couple of my own things, which was a bit silly and cost me a bit of time this year but I feel like I am back on the straight and narrow.”
“I back my ability and I know when I am playing well I can shoot good scores. I’m just not at the stage in my career yet when I am playing well enough consistently enough, but hopefully I will get there and today is a good sign. It was really tricky when it was flat calm and when I got on the tenth tee all of a sudden the wind came up out of nowhere and was blowing for the whole of the back nine.”
In the group of eight players who are just one shot off the lead at -3 under par are the Spanish contingent of Sergio Garcia, Miguel Angel Jiménez and Rafael Cabrera-Bello.
World Number Seven Sergio carded three birdies, an eagle and two bogeys, although suffering from jet-lag;
“I’m happy with my round, I didn’t have the greatest night last night and only slept for about four hours with the jet lag.”
“I didn’t feel extremely well with my swing but I managed to put it in play and give myself some good chances at birdies. The course is tough and the fairways are some of the tightest we have played all year. With the grass they have in this rough as soon as you miss the fairway it’s a guessing game.”
Tied with Spain’s finest at -3 under par are; Jose-Filipe Lima, Peter Uihlein, Thomas Pieters, Richie Ramsay and Robert-Jan Derksen.
Robert benefited from a hole in one on the par three 5th to thank for his opening round of 69, he holed out with a five iron from 211 yards.
Pablo Larrazabal had asked players, caddies and spectators to wear black as a mark of respect for caddie Iain McGregor, who died on Sunday while working for Alastair Forsyth in the Madeira Islands Open.
This is a very tightly packed leaderboard, and could change dramatically tomorrow.