Friday, October 05, 2018

Austrian Brier breaks clear at Coventry
  1. Brier follows through on Day One
                                          This image of Markus Brier is displayed by courtesy of Getty Images
Markus Brier birdied half of the holes at Forest of Arden Hotel and Country Club and will take a two-stroke lead into Day Two of the Farmfoods European Senior Masters.
The two-time European Tour winner wasted no time building his lead as he opened Day One with four straight birdies and added another pair before making the turn without a dropped shot on six under par.
“I really got off to a flying start,” he said. “I hit a very good putt on the first hole, which was a longer one, and then I started hitting the ball a bit closer. During the middle part of the round I was struggling a little, but I holed some really long putts. I made two from probably 18 and 20 metres, which are the sort of ones you’re normally looking to two-putt.
“I had a three-putt on ten, but made three birdies again, on 12, 13 and 14 where I hit it quite close. At the end of the round, my long game was good and my putting wasn’t, but it’s all good.”
The Austrian, who turned 50 years old exactly three months ago, is making his eighth start on the Staysure Tour and teed it up this morning fresh off his season-best finish, a tied-third place showing at the Scottish Senior Open.
“I’m still learning things on the Staysure Tour,” he said. “I took quite a break. I took four years off after I retired from the European Tour but I’m getting more into the tournament mode again. The last start was good in Scotland, and I just have to get — rounds like today — more of these in and really start shooting low scores again.”
The seven under par 65 marks Brier’s lowest round on the over-50s circuit and now gives the man ranked 28th on the Order of Merit an added boost heading into the weekend.
“The goal at the beginning of the season was to finish in the top 20 on the Order of Merit, so I need a few more good results,” he said. “The money is quite good now and you need over 100,000 to finish top 20 and that’s my goal still. I probably need a win to achieve that, but I’ve had a good start this week and I’m really looking forward to the next two days, and then hopefully I can qualify for the finals.”
The quality score from Brier is doubly impressive, considering the fast and undulating greens the players are facing this week at Forest of Arden Hotel and Country Club.
“The course is gorgeous, really,” he said. “These are the best greens we’ve had so far this year. They’re lightning fast and it’s really tough to control the speed on the long putts. That’s why you have to accept the odd three-putt or so, but they’re so pure that if you put a ten-footer on line it stays there, the ball is not wobbling or anything.”
Alone in second place is Spaniard Santiago Luna, who went bogey-free on his way to carding a five under par 67.
One shot back of Luna on four under par are a trio of players, England’s Peter T Wilson, Magnus P Atlevi of Sweden, and Welsh World Golf Hall of Fame Member Ian Woosnam.
Day Two of the Farmfoods European Senior Masters begins tomorrow at 9:30 am local time, with the leader Brier teeing off at 11:10 am.

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