Thursday, July 08, 2010

Elliot Saltman in contention in Golf Open de Lyon contention in Golf Open de Lyon
From Challenge Tour Press Officer Paul Symes
A sparkling round of 65 saw in-form Scot Elliot Saltman take a share of second place on day one of the ALLIANZ Golf Open de Lyon on the European Challenge Tour.
Saltman, runner-up at the recent Fred Olsen Challenge de España, struck six birdies in a flawless round to finish on six under par, level with Sweden’s Oscar Floren and one shot behind leader Marcus Higley, who signed for a 64 despite struggling with bruised ribs caused by a cycling accident.
Had his putter been as hot as the temperatures at Golf du Gouverneur in Lyon, France, Saltman might have held the outright lead. But the Edinburgh native was still pleased with a round which saw him continue an encouraging run of recent results.
He said: “I probably left a fair few shots out there, because I missed four putts from within about eight feet, which has probably been a bit of a weakness of mine. But I suppose you can’t hole every putt, so I’ve still got to be very happy with how I’ve played. I’m in pretty good form at the minute, stretching back to my round of 67 on the first day in Morocco. I fell back away a bit over the next three days, but I still took a lot of positives from the week, and managed to carry that into the Spanish event.
“I was disappointed not to win there, but once I’d got over the disappointment I felt pretty proud of how I’d played for three days. If I can keep my form going for the next few days and weeks, it should bode well for the rest of the year. Obviously I’d love to finish in the top 20 of the Rankings and get my European Tour card, but if not then the next best thing would be to get a decent category for next season on the Challenge Tour.”
Other Scots who performed admirably include Scott Jamieson, who signed for a two under par round of 69, one better than his compatriots Jamie McLeary and Callum Macaulay.
Other players with reasons to be cheerful include Frenchman Anthony Snobeck, who notched the first albatross of the 2010 Challenge Tour season at the eighth hole. And the drinks were also on Argentina’s Alan Wagner, who aced the 11th hole.
A blistering burst of birdies on his back nine saw England’s Marcus Higley surge to the head of affairs on day one.
After going out in 34 at a sun-soaked Golf du Gouverneur in Lyon, France, Higley picked up six shots in five holes after the turn – including an eagle three at the third – to sign for a round of 64, one better than Scotland’s Elliot Saltman and the in-form Swede Oscar Floren.
Having fallen from his bike last week and bruised his ribs Higley’s preparations were restricted to the putting green, and the practice paid off in fine style as he holed putt after putt to record the lowest round of a season which has, by his own admission, so far failed to ignite.
He said: “I played well all day really, but just started holing a few putts after the turn really – that was the difference between the two nines. In the middle of my back nine I started to feel pretty invincible – I thought I was going to hole every putt at that point! I actually missed two fairly short putts on my last two holes – they can’t have been more than about six feet each, so I would’ve expected to have holed at least one of them. But it wasn’t to be, and I holed more than my fair share today, so I certainly can’t complain about the one or two that got away. If I’d been offered a 64 before today’s round, I probably would’ve just about taken it!
“My golf this season’s been pretty average, so hopefully that round might spark it into life. I didn’t actually feel that confident coming into the tournament, because I bruised my rib falling off my bike back home, and haven’t been able to swing a club for a week. I could hardly move for a couple of days after the accident, then it slowly started getting better but I didn’t want to risk it. So all I’ve been able to work on is my putting, and that paid dividends today. Maybe that’s the way forward!”
Others with reasons to be cheerful include Frenchman Anthony Snobeck, who notched the first albatross of the 2010 Challenge Tour season at the eighth hole. And the drinks were also on Argentina’s Alan Wagner, who aced the 11th hole.
64 M Higley (Eng) ,
65 E Saltman (Sco) , O Floren (Swe) ,
66 T Olesen (Den) , B Mason (Eng) , T Feyrsinger (Aut) , Å Nilsson (Swe) , I Van Weerelt (Ned) , A Bjork (Swe) , M Zions (Aus) ,
67 C Del Moral (Esp) , L Slattery (Eng) , F De Vries (Ned) , O David (Fra) , P Dwyer (Eng) , A Kaleka (Fra) , J Arruti (Esp) , M Carlsson (Swe) , B Wiesberger (Aut) ,
68 J Sjöholm (Swe) , W Ormsby (Aus) , F Calmels (Fra) , G Molteni (Ita) , J Guerrier (Fra) , A Grenier (Fra) , C Ford (Eng) , F Marty (Fra) , A Bernadet (Fra) , B Teilleria (Fra) , R Kakko (Fin) , T Remkes (Ned) , L Gagli (Ita) , J Garcia Pinto (Esp) ,
69 A Perrino (Ita) , S Jamieson (Sco) , C Baker (USA) , A Sjöstrand (Swe) , C Günther (Ger) , B Grace (RSA) , M Haines (Eng) , S Ottosen (Den) , C Suneson (Esp) , M Bothma (RSA) , M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) , S Manley (Wal) ,
70 B Evans (Eng) , A Tadini (Ita) , S Robinson (Eng) , J Billot (Fra) , F Fritsch (Ger) , S Davis (Eng) , S Wakefield (Eng) , C Macaulay (Sco) , M Tullo (Chi) , J Makitalo (Fin) , J McLeary (Sco) , J Doherty (Sco) , J Ruth (Eng) , A Snobeck (Fra) , V Riu (Fra) , C Moriarty (Irl) , A Willey (Eng) , R Santos (Por) , J Grillon (Fra) , J Legarrea (Esp) , T Raillard (Fra) ,
71 E Ramsay (Sco) , A McArthur (Sco) , M Vibe-Hastrup (Den) , G Houston (Wal) , F Praegant (Aut) , B Lecuona (Fra) , J Campillo (Esp) , R Russell (Sco) , R Kind (Ned) , D Nouailhac (Fra) , S Tanfin (Fra) , T Norret (Den) , A Bihan (Fra) , J Abbate (Arg) , A Gee (Eng) , L Kennedy (Eng) , T Fournier (Fra) , J Zapata (Arg) , T Haylock (Eng) , L Richard (Bel) ,
72 P Valmary (Fra) , N Meitinger (Ger) , M Soffietti (Ita) , A Högberg (Swe) , A Marshall (Eng) , M Korhonen (Fin) , C Russo (Fra) , A Wagner (Arg) , S Bebb (Wal) , A Hansen (Den) , M Hill (Fra) , C Brazillier (Fra) , P Del Grosso (Arg) , J Larsen (Nor) , M Van Hauwe (Fra) , A Velasco (Esp) , L Poncelet (Fra) , M Baldwin (Eng) ,
73 K Le Sager (Fra) , J Hedin (Swe) , K Eriksson (Swe) , E Canonica (Ita) , P Eales (Eng) , J Remesy (Fra) , I Giner (Esp) , F Henge (Swe) , D Perrier (Fra) , D Brooks (Eng) , V Cachera (Fra) , B Bozio (Fra) , J Axgren (Swe) , E Espana (am) (Fra) ,
74 I Pyman (Eng) , N Musy (Fra) , S Surry (Eng) , R Steiner (Aut) , O Whiteley (Eng) , M Thorp (Nor) , E Dubois (Fra) , L Moolman (RSA) , J Moul (Eng) , W Besseling (Ned) , T Stewart (Aus) , D Antonelli (Fra) , S Buhl (Ger) , L Bond (Wal) , R Martinazzo (am) (Fra) ,
75 N Porteboeuf (Fra) , B Ritthammer (Ger) , M Rominger (Sui) , S Reale (Ita) , S Lewton (Eng) , J Guillet (Fra) ,
76 L Claverie (Esp) , E Chaudouet (Fra) , S Walker (Eng) , R Gallardo (Esp) , P Kaensche (Nor) , A Saddier (am) (Fra) ,
77 F Colombo (Ita) , R Bechu (Fra) , J Clément (Sui) ,
78 J Xanthopoulos (Fra) , C Gallois (Fra) , R Schneider (Fra) , B Chapellan (Fra) ,
79 N Bruzelius (Swe) ,
81 G Rosier (Fra) , A Maublanc (Fra) ,
82 K Blais (Fra) ,



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