Thursday, July 16, 2015

Rhys Davies shoots a 60 in Fred Olsen 

Challenge de Espana on Canary island

Former European Tour winner Rhys Davies came within a whisker of an historic 59 at the Fred Olsen Challenge de España as an 11 under par 60 moved the Welshman into a four-shot first round lead at Tecina Golf on the Canary Island of La Gomera.
After an eagle two at the first hole, where he holed out with a four iron, and nine further birdies in his opening 16 holes, the 30 year old stepped onto the tee at the par five 17th needing to gain just one more shot in the final two holes to become the second European Challenge Tour player in history to card a 59 – after Frenchman Adrien Mörk.
The Bridgend player came within millimetres of birdies at both of the final two holes and was left with mixed emotions as he reflected on a career-best score while also ruing missing the opportunity of carding the magic number.
“It has to be the best round of my career,” said Davies. “In the strangest way, I’m really disappointed because it was such a big chance to shoot the magic number and I didn’t succeed in that, but at the same time you should never be unhappy with 60.
“The 17th was a reachable par five but I drove it into the rough and didn’t have good lie so I couldn’t get close in three, but I still just missed the birdie putt fractionally. It was at the last where I had the real chance - I wedged it to four or five feet and I didn’t hit a bad putt but it was late in the day and the greens were quite grainy, so the ball jumped off the putter face.
“I had nerves all the way round because after the first I knew I could do something special today. I started freakishly well so it was very unusual in that I knew something big could happen and you just don’t think that normally.
“I holed a four iron at the first. It was straight into the wind, really long, and I didn’t even see it go in because the sun was in our faces. I knew it was good but didn’t know where it finished.
“I was just really into it all the way around, once I birdied six I thought the 59 was possible. I knew there were chances, and thought if I could pinch one or two other birdies I could do it but you have to laugh about it afterwards.
“I’d like to think I will have that chance again. I flirted with it before at Wales Open in 2010 when I shot a 62 with a bogey on the last hole – but that one was less likely. I feel like I’m capable of shooting a really low score and hopefully I can do it one day.”
Davies was in the field the last time The Open Championship was played at St Andrews Old Course – one of his three appearances at the year’s third major – having earned a meteoric rise to The European Tour in 2009.
The Fred Olsen Challenge de España was one of the tournaments he won on the Challenge Tour en route to graduation, before he went on to claim a title on the top tier a year later at the Trophée Hassan II.
Now the former East Tennessee State student feels he is steadily returning to that kind of form and, while he certainly loves the stunning Canary Island of La Gomera, he is hoping that he might be back on British soil playing in one of the biggest events in golf this time next year, or in the near future.
“I have made a few swing alterations recently and used a few new ideas,” he said. “I have a different coach and feel much more comfortable with my long game, which was always the thing that held me back. My short game has always been my real strength. I’m far from the finished article, but I’m heading in the right direction.
“As a golfer you’re always trying to achieve certain things, but to be honest right now I’m just pleased I’m playing well again. At times it’s been so poor, it’s just nice to be playing good golf again. I love competing, trying to win tournaments – that’s what really gets the juices going, what I like to do. Hopefully I can contend again this week but I just have to enjoy today.

Spain’s Antonio Hortal will be the man leading the chase to catch Davies after he carded a seven under par 64, while Brinson Paolini of the USA and Englishman Chris Hanson were a shot further back on six under.
Rookie pro Bradley Neil from Blairgowrie is well in the mix with a 66, his best score since he left the amateur ranks.

Par 71
60 R Davies (Wal) ,
64 A Hortal  (Esp) ,
65 B Paolini (USA) , C Hanson (Eng) ,
66 R McGowan  (Eng) , B Hemstock (Eng) , A Garcia-Heredia (Esp) , B Neil (Sco) , J Senior (Eng) , S Henry  (Sco) , A Velasco (Esp) ,
67 J Hansen  (Den) , C Brazillier  (Fra) , D Coupland (Eng) , R Evans  (Eng) , L Claverie (Esp) , T Gornik (Slo) , T Tree (Eng) , N Turner (Irl) , G Drakeford (Aus) ,
68 M McGeady (Irl) , A Rota (Ita) , N Quintarelli (Ita) , B Hafthorsson (Isl) , M Delpodio  (Ita) , G Watremez (Bel) , N Lemke (Swe) , C Russo (Fra) , J Doherty  (Sco) , K Benz (Sui) , T Remkes (Ned) , E Saltman  (Sco) , M Quiros (Esp) , S Manley (Wal) , V Riu  (Fra) , C Balmaseda  (Esp) , A McArthur  (Sco) , L Corfield  (Eng) , A Hernandez Cabezuela (am) (Esp) ,
69 W Besseling  (Ned) , J Girrbach (Sui) , J Sarasti  (Esp) , E Larrañaga (Esp) , C Berardo (Fra) , F Becker (Ger) , H Joannes  (Bel) , L Nemecz (Aut) , A Björk (Swe) , Z Scotland  (Eng) , S Brown (Eng) , A Domingo (Esp) , T Elissalde  (Fra) , J Sjöholm (Swe) , D Borda (Esp) , M Wiegele  (Aut) , G Shaw (Nir) , A Kaleka  (Fra) , J Ballesteros (Esp) , P Angles (am) (Esp) ,
70 J Kunzenbacher (Ger) , C Sordet  (Fra) , A Bruschi  (Ita) , D Suazo Gonzalez (Esp) , S Tiley (Eng) , K Subregis  (Fra) , D Foos (Ger) , B Virto Astudillo (Esp) , J Smith (Eng) , A Bernadet  (Fra) , D Kemmer (USA) , C Aguilar  (Esp) , X Puig (Esp) , E Cuartero Blanco  (Esp) , J Lara (Esp) , N Bertasio (Ita) , J White (Eng) , S Wakefield (Eng) , J Winther (Den) , J Legarrea (Esp) , N Elvira  (Esp) , J Poladura (am) (Esp) ,
71 D Vancsik (Arg) , S Del Val (Esp) , B Parker  (Eng) , Z Lombard  (RSA) , F Cea (Esp), J Gallegos  (Esp) , J Ross (Sco), L Vaisanen (Fin) , N Dahlgren (Fin) , J Bragulat  (Esp) , M Trappel  (Aut) , J Garcia Del Moral (Esp) , D Ulrich (Sui) , S Santana (Esp) , M Röhrig (Ger) , M Fenasse (Fra) ,
72 G Murray  (Sco) , J Colomo  (Esp) , C Selfridge  (Nir) , G Houston (Wal) , M Cabrera-Bello (Esp) , N Geyger (Chi) , S Garcia Rodriguez (Esp) , N Kimsey (Eng) , A Saddier (Fra) , W Harrold (Eng) , L Astl (Aut) , J Friesz (am) (Svk) ,
73 O Stark (Swe) , D Law (Sco) , J Ferraby (Eng) , R Enoch  (Wal) , D Stewart (Sco) , F Calmels  (Fra) , J Kaske (Fin) , S Fallon (Eng) , J Simon De Miguel  (Esp) , N Ravano (Ita) , A Hartø  (Den) , J Robinson (Eng) , F Praegant (Aut) ,
74 R Kellett (Sco) , B Chapellan (Fra) , C Sutherland (Sco) , G Woolgar (Eng) ,
75 C Ford (Eng) , G Snow  (Ken) , S Einhaus (Ger) , M Galiano Aguilar (am) (Esp) ,
76 N Floren (Swe) , J Harrison (Eng) , C Mivis  (Bel) , F Andersson Hed (Swe) , K Hesbois  (Bel) , P Howard  (Eng) ,
77 F Laporta (Ita) , R Harris (Eng) , 



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