Thursday, August 25, 2016

Tom Lewis lets first European Tour 59 slip 

through his fingers, shares lead on 62

Tom Lewis looked on course for the first 59 in European Tour history before three late bogeys handed him a share of the first-round lead at the Made in Denmark tournament today.
Thomas Pieters and Joakim Lagergren had earlier equalled the course record at Himmerland Golf and Spa Resort with a pair of 62s and at that point, it looked like they would be the leading duo at the end of day one.
That was before Lewis produced one of the most scintillating spells of the season - getting to 12 under after 13 holes - but three bogeys in his closing five holes saw him sign for another 62 and sit at nine under, a shot ahead of Welshman Bradley Dredge.
Those rounds were the lowest on Tour this season without preferred lies and the lowest opening rounds of the campaign but when Lewis made an eagle at the fourth, it looked like history was on the cards.

The Englishman turned in 28 with seven birdies thanks to some brilliant approach play after starting on the back nine, and a hat-trick of further gains from the first had him ten under after 12 holes.
When he rolled in a 45-footer on the fourth for eagle, he could par his way home to get into the history books but a ragged tee-shot and a miss from five feet led to a first dropped shot of the day on the fifth.

A poor chip and two putts saw an opportunity go begging on the next and a horrible lie off the tee on the eighth led to a bogey before another dropped shot on the ninth.
That round still represents an excellent day for the 25 year old, who lost his card last season after a poor late run but has made his last three cuts following a slow start to the season.
"I'm massively disappointed right now," he said. "It's a difficult one teeing it up late and having a lot of people out there to see something good, and not to come back with something special is a shame.
"Apologies. I tried and next time we can hopefully finish it off.
"There were no nerves but I tried too hard. Everyone does that when they think and I just started thinking, which maybe is the reason I backed up. Next time I will learn. It shows to me I can shoot 59.
"It was a good round today but a disappointing one, but how many people can get disappointed with nine under? It's a tough one but everyone could tell it was on there and unfortunately I came up just short.
"But it's not a problem, if I go out there tomorrow and do the same thing I did today I could shoot another nine under."
Pieters - playing alongside Ryder Cup Captain Darren Clarke as he tries to earn himself a Captain's pick for Hazeltine - has been in excellent form lately, finishing fourth at the Olympic Men's Golf Competition and second and the D+D REAL Czech Masters.
He started on the back nine and made four birdies in six holes before dropping a shot on the 16th and then making back-to-back gains to turn in 30.

Further birdies on the first, third, fourth and sixth - following an excellent up and down after he put his approach into the crowd - had the 24 year old on the brink of breaking the course record but three closing pars saw him settle for a tie.
Lagergren had already achieved that feat as he picked up birdies on the 12th, 14th, 15th, 16th, second, third, fourth, sixth and eighth in an unblemished effort.
Welshman Dredge has an impressive record at this event - finishing second in 2014 and sixth last year - and after opening with a bogey on the tenth, he made six gains in his next eight holes - including five in a row from the 14th.
Further birdies followed at the third, fifth and sixth to leave Dredge just a shot off the lead.
Scotland's Scott Jamieson, American David Lipsky and South African Jake Roos were then at six under, a shot clear of India's Jeev Milkha Singh and South Africa's Richard Sterne.

Par 71
62 T Lewis (England), J Lagergren (Sweden), T Pieters (Belgium).
63 B Dredge (Wales)
65 J Roos (South Africa), S Jamieson (Scotland), D Lipsky (USA).

67 R Ramsay (T10)
69 D Drysdale, A McArthur (T31)
70 P Lawrie, S Gallacher, G Murray (T51)
72 C Lee (T91)
74 M Warren (T121) 



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