Yates off to promising start in Spanish Alps Tour event but has ground to make up to runaway leader Keunen

Adam McKendry

Jonathan Yates (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

Jonathan Yates got off to a promising start at the Fred Olsen Alps de la Gomera in Canarias, Spain but already has ground to make up after the Netherlands’ Lars Keunen opened up a healthy early lead.

Naas man Yates mixed four birdies and one bogey in his first round at Tecina Golf la Gomera in a three-under 68 to sit just inside the top-10, but he’s already five shots off Keunen at the top.

The Dutchman was in a class of his own as he finished a round of eight-under that contained nine birdies with four straight to open up a three-shot lead at the top and put himself in the driver’s seat early.

Keunen has been playing well so far this season and his most recent finish was a tied for 3rd place last week at the 2022 Alps de Las Castillas. After his round, he commented; “My driving has been very solid today. After playing well last week I felt good going into this week and am very happy with how the tournament began. Of course there is still a lot of golf to be played but it’s a very good start.” Lars also mentioned on how “the course is great this week and the views are really nice too! Makes it all a better day.”

Vince van Veen, another Dutchman, is in the group tied for second at five-under after he and Spain’s Asier Aguirre Izcue and French amateur Julien Sale all opened with 66s, with Spain’s Enrique Marin Santander, Italy’s Stefano Mazzoli and England’s Ben Schmidt at four-under.

Gary Hurley, the only other Irishman in the field at Tecina Golf la Gomera, is also in a good position after his opening round, four birdies and two bogeys leading to a two-under 69 and a share of 19th.


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