PGA of Spain Professionals are dominating the top of the leaderboard after Round 01 of the PGAs of Europe’s Fourball Championship presented by the Costa Daurada.
Although conditions at Lumine Mediterránea Beach & Golf Club were very testing, with gusts reaching up to 45kph, there were some excellent scores being carded.
The PGA of Spain pairings of Javier & Manuel Ballesteros and Liam Murray & Xavier Puig lead the way on seven-under par.
Javier & Manuel Ballesteros are aiming to improve on their third place finish from last year and began this year’s event with a 64 on the Lakes Course.
“We started a little slow on the front nine, where we were just one-under,” explained Javier. “I played pretty poor but Manuel played well…this course especially suits Manuel’s game because he is really long and on four or five holes that’s important.
“We don’t have a strategy, we just try to have fun and play as well as we can…It’s only the first day…obviously it would be nice to win together but we don’t think like that for the moment.”
The pair, who are the son and nephew of the late, great Seve Ballesteros, started on the 10th and were even par heading to the 18th tee. However, seven birdies in the next ten holes meant they finished the day at the head of the leaderboard.
Sharing the lead are PGA of Spain Professionals, Liam Murray & Xavier Puig, after their seven-under round of 65 on Lumine’s Hills Course.
“We started off pretty good in tough conditions – it was really windy around the turn but Xavi made four [birdies] in a row,” said Murray. “I haven’t played the other course because I wasn’t feeling right with my back so I rested it and we only played nine on the Hills on Sunday…but I’m just going to ask Xavi where to hit it and trust him really.”
“We tried to play the same game – both aggressive and creating as many chances for birdie as possible,” added Puig. “I’m going to show him the way and he’s going to follow me and make a lot of birdies for sure.”
The duo also started their round on the 10th and carded a blemish-free front nine of 31 (-5). They continued their fine form on the back nine, birdieing the first three holes and ending Round 01 in a dominant position.
Making up the top three, and only one shot behind the leaders, are Calle Carlsson (PGA of Norway) & Bjorn Pettersson (PGA of Sweden). Carlsson, who is the General Manager of Lumine Mediterránea Beach & Golf Club, and Pettersson carded a six-under round of 66 on the Hills Course, with the highlight of their round undoubtedly being an eagle on the par-four 12th.
Chasing the top three are eight pairs who are tie-third on five-under, whilst no less than eleven pairs sit at four-under, making for a very compelling and competitive second day.
Winds are expected to settle for Round 02 of the Championship, as the competitors will switch courses before a cut comes in to play at the end of the round that sees the top-40 pairs and ties continue into the final round over the Lakes Course.
Round 02 begins at 09:00am GMT+1.
For more information on the PGAs of Europe Fourball Championship Presented by Costa Daurada visit the Tournament Hub Page (http://eur.pe/2017FourballChamps), follow @PGAsofEurope on Twitter search the Hashtag ‘#FourballChamps’, or like the PGAs of Europe Facebook Page.
With thanks to LUMINE Mediterránea Beach & Golf Club (www.lumine.com), Costa Daurada (www.costadaurada.info), Cambrils (www.Cambrils-Tourism.com), Golfbreaks.com (www.Golfbreaks.com/pga-pro), La Pineda Platja (www.lapinedaplatja.info), and Salou (www.visitsalou.eu).