Joakim Haeggman and Stephen Dodd share the lead on the opening day of the inaugural staging of the Legends Tour Trophy at the Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel & Country Club, with both finishing the day on six under par.
Haeggman’s smooth bogey-free round of 66 was matched by Dodd’s eight birdies and two bogeys at the end of play today at the event hosted by Simon Khan.
The Swede was critical of his play on the front nine but ultimately was very pleased with his round as he went into the clubhouse as the sole leader at the time.
“It’s great to come off a good start as I’ve not had many good starts this season,” said the Swede who got his first win on the tour at the MBC – Tour Championship in Seychelles last December. “It’s nice to be right in the tournament from the very beginning.
“I hit every green on the front side, so it was a little frustrating because I was playing really nicely. But I hit a decent shot into 10 feet on 10 and I stiffed it on 11, and suddenly I was -3. Then I birdied some of the really difficult holes like 16.”
Co-leader Stephen Dodd was positive about his round, with the Welshman at the top of the group of sixteen golfers who shot in the sixties today.
“I kept it in play well today, which was key,” explained Dodd. “It got tricky with the breeze. I drove it fairly well, which was a big help today. I can’t remember the last time I had eight red numbers in one round. It’s normally eight in a week. I’m delighted. I’ve put myself in a good position so we’ll see what the next few days brings.”
In the lead-up to the tour’s new tournament, Khan explained what it meant to him to have his home course on the tour for this season and how he hoped he would be able to raise his game as he welcomed several established golfers for an event.
And on the opening day of play, the 2010 BMW PGA Championship winner followed through on his comments about raising the level of his game and will certainly have enjoyed himself with a score of four under through his opening eighteen holes.
South African James Kingston, and Australian Peter Fowler were among the earlier starters and were at the top of the scoring through their first nine holes, with Kingston finishing with a round of 67 (-5) and Fowler with a round of 69 (-3).
Kingston is one of a trio that is just one stroke behind the clubhouse leaders, with Grieg Hutcheon and Bradey Dredge also going around the Jack Nicklaus-designed course in 67 shots.
The starting group of Paul Eales, Chris Hanell and Andrew Oldcorn tee off at 8:30 AM tomorrow morning.