Brutal, tough and a struggle were some of the more restrained reactions at the end of a wind-ravaged opening round of The PGAs of Europe International Team Championship on Portugal’s Algarve.
Wind fuelled turbulence on the adjacent Mediterranean Sea was replicated on the Alvor Course at the Onyria Palmares Beach and Golf Resort and reflected by the scores after the first of four rounds.
The tournament is supported by Glenmuir, the Associaçäo Turismo do Algarve and Ryder Cup European Development Trust and that Holland and Denmark head the 26-strong field with a score of five-over is testament to the havoc wrought by Mother Nature.
Likewise the fact that Scotland, the defending champions who lie third on six-over, posted an opening return of seven-under at the same venue 12 months ago.
Captained again by David Orr, the Scottish trio was indebted to one of its two new members – Graham Fox – for an impressive start.
His level par round of 72 was the best of the day. Nevertheless Fox, who is attached to Clydeway Golf, Glasgow, was left to rue what might have been after a double bogey at the final hole. And that that followed an eagle at the par five 17th only served to compound his frustration.
“It was a good start but the double bogey was a real disappointment,” he said. “It was pretty tough out there – we were having to take four irons for shots of 160 yards.”
Similarly, Ralph Miller and Jacob Nordestgaard, the key contributors for Holland and Denmark respectively, were left to ponder ifs, buts and maybes.
Miller, the Dutch-based English PGA Professional, was two-under at the turn but, with the wind even more malevolent on the back nine, ended what he described as a ‘brutal’ round one-over.
Nordestgaard (pictured left), also finished one-over after a round that featured five birdies but was pock-marked with a double and four single bogeys.
He, too, found the going difficult and said: “Every hole was a real struggle. Thankfully I putted well and my iron play was good. It needed to be in those conditions.”
Nordestgaard, who is making his first appearance in a tournament which his nation has yet to win, was supported by Morten Hedergaard. He completed his round in four-over, the same as Holland’s Robin Swane.
Fox, meanwhile, was supported by Orr who finished on six-over, a round that ensured a three-stroke advantage over France, Ireland, Spain and Sweden who share fourth place.
The 2013 Annual Congress & ITC are supported by Glenmuir, the Associação Turismo do Algarve, Hotel Vila Galé Lagos, Onyria Palmares Beach and Golf Resort, and the European Ryder Cup Development Trust. For more information on our partners, visit http://eur.pe/1aaFFgx.