Thursday, September 01, 2016

Challenge Tour scoreboard

Jordan Smith leads with seven-under 63 in 

France, Peter Whiteford top Scot with a 67

Jordan Smith justified his status as the highest-ranked player in the Challenge Tour's Cordon Golf Open field by shooting a seven under par 63 to tie the first round lead at Golf Blue Green de Pléneuf Val André in France
The Englishman, currently second in the Road to Oman Rankings, had five birdies and an eagle in a bogey-free opening 18 holes before compatriot Matthew Nixon matched him on that mark.
Smith was playing on the EuroPro Tour this time last year – ultimately topping the rankings to earn a spot on the European Challenge Tour for this season – and he was pleased with the start he made on his first visit to picturesque Pléneuf.
“I’m definitely happy with that,” said the 23 year old. “I played some really good stuff, the putter was really steady on the front nine and then got really hot on the back nine.
“It’s a great place to do it too – we’ve got the beach, the sea, the views, and today we even had the golf. It’s my first time here but it’s such a nice spot.
“Me and my caddie came up with a good gameplan because you don’t have to hit too many drivers out there, it’s more three woods and two irons to get it in the right positions, which I did really well today.
“There are definitely a few holes that can throw you off – if you miss a green in the wrong spot, because it’s quite firm, it can shoot off 20 yards into the bushes, so you’ve got to stay aware of your surroundings.”
Smith won the second event on the Road to Oman, the Red Sea Egyptian Challenge, and has since been consistently towards the top of the Rankings, though two missed cuts at the end of July gave him pause for thought.
However, following some work on the practice ground, he has been showing his class again of late, with top ten finishes in each of his last two events helping him close the gap between him and leader Romain Langasque to less than 5,000 points – and Smith is ultimately hoping to overtake his French rival.
“I missed two cuts in a row,” he said. “But then I got to work with my coach, on a few technical things, which I was doing over those two weeks and which is why I didn’t play so good.
“Now it’s all slotting into place and it’s all going according to plan ahead of this next two weeks, then a couple of weeks off, and then the long run in.
“I’ve really, really enjoyed this season. I got off to a nice start, which really helps – it meant I got into all the tournaments and could plan my schedule, so I was taking a week off, then playing three weeks, and keep myself fresh.
“I’m definitely aiming to win the Road to Oman Rankings, that’s the aim now. I’m up in second again, but I don’t have a number of points in mind, it depends what Langasque does really, but I’ll just keep going and do my best.”
Co-leader Nixon continued to enjoy the French life by backing up his tie for fifth at Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge – his best result this season – with an eventful opening round, the highlight of which was holing a nine iron for eagle on the 17th.
One shot behind is Robin Sciot-Siegrist, whose outward nine of 29 had his fellow French fans dreaming of something truly special before breezier conditions coming in meant he had to settle for a creditable 64.
In fourth place is Garrick Porteous, one shot further back on five under par, ahead of a large group of players on four under.

Venue: Pleneuf, France
par 70
63 Jordan L Smith (England), Matthew Nixon (England)
64 Robin Sciot-Siegrist (France)
65 Garrick Porteous (England)

67 Peter Whiteford (T13)
68 Jack Doherty, Ross Kellett (T20)
71 Duncan Stewart, David Law (T72)
72 Scott Henry (T86)
74 Paul Shields, Grant Forrest (amateur) (T113)

+Duncan Stewart had a double bogey 5 at the short 15th in halves of 34-37.
+David Law had halves of 33-38, birdieing the fifth, sixth, seventh and 10th. But he finished poorly with bogeys at the 11th, 14th, 17th and 18th





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