Thursday, October 17, 2013


In need of nothing less than a victory at the ISPS HANDA Perth International to secure his playing rights on The European Tour for next season, Peter Hedblom set-up that dream scenario by taking a share of the first round lead at Lake Karrinyup Country Club in Western Australia.
The Swede, one of many European Tour players in the last chance saloon to secure their cards for next year at this, the last counting event for the all-important top 110 in The Race to Dubai, put together a fine opening round of four under par 68 to join former World Amateur World Number One Jin Jeong of South Korea and the Australian pair of James Nitties and Clint Rice at the top of the leaderboard. 
If Hedblom is to achieve his dream he will have to overcome, among others, American star Dustin Johnson who posted a three under 69 to lurk just one shot off the pace and join an eight-strong group of players tied for fifth spot.
That group also includes the Swedish duo of Bjorn Akesson and Fredrik Andersson Hed as well as England’s Sam Little who all need to finish the week within the top few to continue their European Tour careers next year. 
Johnson’s compatriot and defending champion, Bo Van Pelt, is another name Hedblom will be more than aware of in the chasing pack, but the Swede is hoping his care-free attitude from round one can carry him to what would be a remarkable fourth European Tour career victory.
“I'm so far back that I need to win so I have nothing to hold back on,” said Hedblom. “You just have to go for everything. I can’t be happy with second, third, fourth or fifth – I just have to play as well as I can and see if I can win the tournament. 
“Today it felt like any tournament when I'm starting.  But if I will be leading playing the last day, then maybe I'll feel the tension.  But right now, it's just one round out of four but it's good to at least have a chance to do it.”
Johnson doesn’t have to worry about where he will be playing his golf next year. The seven-time PGA Tour winner and Ryder Cup star was pleased with his opening effort given he is recovering from a slight illness. 
“I'm feeling way better than I was,” said Johnson. “I just have a little bit of a cough which is okay – I'm back to where I feel good enough to play good golf. I played pretty well today and the course is fun to play.
“The greens are really firm and they are really fast so you have got to be careful where you hit the ball on your second shots.  You don't want too many downhill putts because it's hard to stop the ball and if you miss the green in the wrong side, you're dead.”
Complete Round One Scores: 
Par 72
68 P Hedblom (Swe); C Rice (Aus); J Jeong (Kor); J Nitties (Aus);
69 N Cullen (Aus); F Andersson Hed (Swe); D Johnson (USA); S Little (Eng); D Papadatos (Aus); B Åkesson (Swe); N O'Hern (Aus); B Watt (am) (Aus);
70 B Van Pelt (USA); R Coles (Eng); J Hansen  (Den); A Brown (Aus); R Blizard (Aus); J Younger (Aus); T Petersson (Swe); M Brown (Nzl);
71 C Campbell (Aus); E Kofstad (Nor); R McGowan  (Eng); B Rankin (Aus); S Hansen (Den); B Rumford (Aus); D Bransdon (Aus); J Sjöholm (Swe); T Bond (Aus);
72 D Drysdale (Sco); D Popovic (Aus); R Haller (Aus); R Fisher (Eng); M Fraser (Aus); P Cooke (Aus); R Finch  (Eng); P Wilson (Aus); S Wakefield (Eng); P Spargo (Aus); A Hall (Aus); A Bland (Aus); O Fisher  (Eng); N Basic (Aus); C Parry (Aus); D Willett  (Eng); B Ninyette (Aus); B Lamb  (Aus); C Doak (Sco);
73 M Jonzon (Swe); P O'Malley (Aus); B Grace  (RSA); P Lonard (Aus); J Lara (Esp); J Morrison  (Eng); A Snobeck  (Fra); C Lee (Sco); M Griffin (Aus); M Hoey  (Nir); J Edfors (Swe); A Katholos (Aus); D Higgins (Irl); W Ormsby (Aus); M Korhonen (Fin); G Havret  (Fra); P Lawrie (Irl);
74 S Leaney (Aus); M Guyatt (Aus); G Paddison (Nzl); M Millar (Aus); A Kaleka  (Fra); M Jager (Aus); A Levy (Fra); R Fox (Nzl); A Kelly (Aus); J Kingston (RSA); S Henry  (Sco); S Jones (Aus); S Dartnall (Aus); A Buckle (Aus); L McKechnie (Aus); A Martin  (Aus); G Lockerbie  (Eng);
75 N Holman  (Aus); M Cain (Aus); F Zanotti (Par); A Stolz (Aus); M Ballard (Aus); M Tullo (Chi); K Mueck (Aus); O Floren  (Swe); T Cox (Aus); A Summers (Aus); T Van Der Walt (RSA); C Hancock (Aus); P Erofejeff (Fin); M Stieger (Aus); T Wood (Aus); A Crawford (Aus); D McKenzie (Aus); D Fox (Aus); J Wilson (Aus); J Scrivener (Aus); R Bland (Eng);
76 S Kjeldsen (Den); N Green (Aus); M Wright (Aus); J Walters (RSA); P Casey  (Eng); S Jeffress (Aus); M Sim  (Aus); R Karlberg  (Swe); A Presnell (Aus); J McLean (Aus); M Foster (Aus); R McEvoy  (Eng); J Wade (Aus);
77 C Paisley  (Eng); R Batibasaga (Aus); S Laycock (Aus); P Fowler (Aus); B Shilton (Nzl); A Hartø  (Den); B Stone (RSA); L Jensen (Den);
78 D Van Der Walt (RSA); K Felton (Aus); J Norris (Aus); M Delpodio  (Ita); L Deagan (Aus); K Richardson (Aus); J Geary  (Nzl); M Moore (Aus); R Lynch (Aus); L Gagli  (Ita); M Pearce (Nzl); A Dodt (Aus);
79 M Nixon (Eng); K Pratt (Aus); M Goggin (Aus);
80 R Kulacz (Aus);
81 J Lagergren (Swe); G Reed (Aus);
82 A Tschudin (Aus);
85 M Giles (Aus)



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