Friday, December 12, 2014



Barry Lane overcame illness and injury to set the pace in the MCB Tour Championship in Mauritius today with a battling four under par opening round of 68 to lead by one shot from a quartet of players, including defending champion Paul Wesselingh.
Lane was bed-ridden at the start of the week with a virus and has also been suffering with a back problem, but despite dropping a shot on the opening hole, he dug deep to card seven birdies, as the former Ryder Cup player attempts to end the 2014 season on a high note.
The Englishman can dislodge Canadian Rick Gibson from second place in the European Senior Tour Order of Merit with victory at Constance Belle Mare Plage, and he gave further credence to the old adage ‘beware the injured golfer’ with a plucky display around the Legend Course.
“I had flu for four days and a disc problem in my back, so I’ve been struggling,” he said. “I actually came out here a week early but I didn’t play until the Pro-Am on Wednesday and Thursday. I’ve been feeling terrible and I had the shakes out there today.
“I just got better as the round went on and hung in there. I putted lovely. I played nicely, but I putted beautifully. I hit some quality shots and just tried to keep it on the fairway and on the green.
“I guess leading is a little unexpected, but they do say beware the injured golfer. I’ve not played or hit any balls since November 20, so I just went out there and tried to swing it easy. So in the circumstances it’s a good round and nice to be up there.”
Lane will be pursued by a familiar looking chasing pack which includes Wesselingh and South African David Frost, both of whom are previous winners of the Senior Tour’s season finale.
Wesselingh lifted both the tournament silverware and the John Jacobs Trophy in Mauritius 12 months ago, and while Colin Montgomerie has already secured the latter this time round, Wesselingh made a solid start to his defence of the former with four birdies in a round of 69.
“I hit the ball ok, but it wasn’t the greatest I have played,” he said. “I was happy though, and it’ is a nice start to my defence of the title. The only thing I was disappointed with was that I didn’t take advantage over the par fives, even though I birdied the last.

“I putted nicely though and the course just suits me. I feel comfortable out there. It’s good to be up there again and that’s all you can do – put yourself in position.”
Frost has an impressive record over the Legend Course, winning the former Mauritius Commercial Bank Open in 2009 and the MCB Tour Championship in 2012, as well as finishing runner up twice in the tournament. He was one of only two players to avoid making a bogey on the opening day, and broke par for the 14th time in 16 rounds at the venue.
“I played steady today,” said Frost. “I hit the ball well. I didn’t make any birdies for the first seven holes, even though I had some good chances. But I kept it in play all day. Maybe I could have been two better today if the ball had run my way, but I’m quite happy with the start. As usual, you can’t win it in the first round, but I just wanted to be up there and not have to make a comeback, so I’m happy.”
Also in a four-way share of second place on three under par are Argentine Jorge Berendt, the former Cannes Open winner on The European Tour who finished with back-to-back birdies, and Englishman Mark Davis, the Senior Tour rookie who is chasing his second his second victory of 2014 after winning the SSE Scottish Senior Open.

Double Senior Major champion Montgomerie, who is seeking a fifth Senior Tour victory of the season, is three shots off the lead in a share of ninth position after an opening round of 71. 
The Scot reached two under par after mixing three birdies and one bogey in his opening 15 holes, but found the water on the par five last and finished with a bogey to fall back to one under par.
Par 72
68 B Lane (Eng)
69 P Wesselingh (Eng) , M Davis (Eng) , J Berendt (Arg) , D Frost (RSA)
70 C Williams (RSA) , A Sherborne (Eng) , G Rusnak (USA) ,
 71 C Montgomerie  (Sco) , B Longmuir (Sco) , R Drummond (Sco) , A Bossert (Sui) , S Tinning (Den) , G Ryall (Eng) , J Sallat (Fra) , C Monasterio (Arg) , K Spurgeon (Eng) , R Gibson (Can) ,
 72 D Smyth (Irl) , M Mouland (Wal) , J Remesy (Fra) , J Gould (Eng) , A Oldcorn (Sco) ,
 73 N Job (Eng) , M Cunning (USA) , J Smith (USA) , B Cameron (Eng) , B Conser (USA) , P Walton (Irl) , S Luna (Esp) , M Martin (Esp) , I Woosnam (Wal) ,
 74 M Mackenzie (Eng) , S Brown (Eng) , J Bruner (USA) , D Russell (Eng) , P Linhart (Esp) , J Quiros (Esp) , T Thelen (USA) , R Rafferty (Nir) , G Manson (Aut) ,
 75 W Grant (Eng) , P Golding (Eng) , P Fowler (Aus) , S McAllister (Sco) , G Wolstenholme (Eng) , S Cipa (Eng) ,
 76 A Murray (Eng) , G Brand Jnr (Sco) , J Carriles (Esp) , P Eales (Eng) ,
 77 G Bell (Eng) , D Hospital (Esp) , A Franco (Par) , S Torrance (Sco) ,
 78 D O'Sullivan (Irl) , M McLean (Eng) ,
 79 M Farry (Fra)
 80 J Rivero (Esp)
 83 V Seeneevassen (am) (Mus)
 86 G Emerson (Eng)



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