Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Paul Doherty (71) one off the pace at Slaley Hall

Chris Hanson drew first blood at the 2009 PGA EuroPro Tour Championship at De Vere Slaley Hall in Northumberland today.
He holds a one-stroke lead with an opening round of two-under-par 70.
Hanson (Woodsome Hall) began his round on the back nine and quickly moved to two under par after four holes. Bogeys at the 18th and second holes put him back to level par before birdies at the fourth and eighth holes saw him card one of just four rounds under par in tough conditions in the North-east of England.
“I knew that a score around level would be good – so I’m pleased to have got in under par,” said Hanson. “I was a couple under early on but dropped those shots but getting an easy birdie at the fourth and another one at the eighth was pleasing and I hit a couple of good shots on the ninth to walk off at two under.”
Hanson has missed the cut in his last two events on the Tour but sits in a promising position at Slaley Hall and says he’s aware of what he needs to do to come out on top.
“The key for me in the final two rounds will just be to be as patient as I can be,” said the 24 year-old.
Former Scottish boys match-play champion Paul Doherty (North Gailes), Sandeep Grewal (ISM) and Llewellyn Matthews (Southerndown GC) all carded 71s to sit on Hanson’s shoulder after the opening exchanges.
Doherty will feel aggrieved after bogey-bogey finish saw him slip from a leading position after recording five birdies in his round, while Grewal will be full of confidence after winning the PartyPoker.com International Open at Fairmont St. Andrews. He will look at an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole as the key to his good start to the event.
Matthews can claim the best comeback of the day after starting his round with an 8 on the par-4 10th. He recovered with five birdies to shoot a fine round of 71.
Adam Frayne (St Mellion) sits alone in fifth spot at level par 72 after cancelling out four birdies, with three in his opening four holes. He is one stroke ahead of a group of nine players at one over par – Phil Worthington (Donnington Grove), Colin Roope (wstore.co.uk), Ian Keenan (Royal Liverpool), Simon Lilly (Wellingborough), Graeme Clark (Doncaster), Paul Maddy (Gog Magog), Steven Parry (Bolton), Jack Doherty (North Gailes) and Paul Dwyer (Clitheroe).
With much of the focus at the Tour Championship is on the top of the Order of Merit, Jack Doherty and Dwyer know that victory and the £15,000 winner’s cheque that goes with it could secure top spot from their respective fourth and fifth positions with money list leader Scott Jamieson perhaps opening the door to his rivals after an opening round 76 left him at four over. Jamieson is playing with closest competitors Tom Haylock (Ground Construction Ltd – second) and Daniel Brooks (Mill Hill – third) but neither managed to capitalise with Brooks matching Jamieson’s score and Haylock going round in 75.
The second round of the Tour Championship from De Vere Slaley Hall in Northumberland begins at 8.15am tomorrow with live scoring available at http://www.europrotour.com/.

Par 72
70 Chris Hanson (Eng).
71 Paul Doherty (Sco), Sandeep Grewal (Eng), Llewellyn Matthews (Wal).
Other Scots scores:
73 Jack Doherty (jt 6th).
75 Lee Harper (jt 17th).
76 Mark Kerr, Scott Jamieson, Elliot Saltman (jt 23rd).
78 Lorne Kelly, Duncan Stewart (jt 36th).
81 Barry Hume (jt 50th).



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