The 2016 Aegean Airlines Pro-Am at Costa Navarino in Greece got off to a blazing start after PGA of South Africa Professional, Paul Marks, carded a career-best opening 63 (-8) to lead by two shots.
With temperatures surpassing 40 degrees at the Messinia-based Costa Navarino resort, the 11th edition of the popular Pro-Am got underway in challenging conditions for PGA Professional and amateur competitors alike.
Marks, who is also PGA of South Africa Chairman, made an early bid for the lead at the Par 71 Bay Course, with a birdie at the second hole followed by a further six birdies in a row to go out in just 29 shots.
“It just clicked and my putter was fantastic,” said Marks. “All round I hit my irons superbly well and I hit my driver well today too – it was just one of those rounds. It’s my lowest round in a Professional tournament and equals my lowest score ever…so now I have to find a 62 from somewhere!”
Marks’ Round 01 score was made even more impressive considering a double-bogey five on the par-three 16th hole that was swiftly cancelled out by birdies on the final two holes.
But hot on his heels are two past champions of the Pro-Am; Lee Rinker (PGA of America) and Henrik Engdahl (PGA of Greece). Both again played on the low-scoring Bay Course earning themselves a pair of six-under par 65s.
Ladies European Tour Member, Carly Booth, recovered beautifully from a three hole stretch of bogeys on her back nine with a birdie on the Bay’s 17th hole and an eagle at the last for a four-under 67 matching the PGA of Germany’s David Heinzinger’s 67.
Back over on Costa Navarino’s Dunes Course, defending Champion, Jake Roos, also matched their four-under par efforts with two birdies on each nine holes and share of fourth place after Round 01.
In the Team Pro-Am event Paul Marks and amateurs, Berny Lane, Alan Rahme, and Kamal Singh, and PGA of Italy Professional Adriano Mori and his amateurs, Marco Colombo Poggi, Luciana Marina Carli, and Fabio Poggi, lead having scored big targets of 92 points (-20).
In third place is Team Engdahl including amateurs John Stefanidis, Makis Papadopoulos and Chairman of Aegean Airlines, Theodore Vassilakis, just one point behind on 91 points (-19).
The second round of the Aegean Airlines Pro-Am will see the teams swap courses with the Teams completing the 36 hole Team Pro-Am and the Professionals complete the second of three Individual Professional rounds.
Find out more about the Aegean Airlines Pro-Am and Aegean Airlines by visiting www.aegeanproam.com.