Friday, October 07, 2011

Ross McGowan sets pace in Madrid

Posted by Admin On 10:38 AM

England's Ross McGowan held the lead after shooting 64 in the opening round of the Madrid Masters. The 29-year-old's eight-under-par round left him one stroke clear of hometown favourite Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Italian Lorenzo Gagli and Australian Brett Rumford on a day of low score at El Encin Golf Hotel.

Gagli's compatriot Edoardo Molinari follows in absolute fifth place on six under, with a host of players one shot further back and world number one Luke Donald caption another sizeable group at four under.

McGowan birdied three of the first four holes but it was around the turn where his round took flight, with five successive birdies from the ninth. Two more follow in the final three holes to leave him on top, despite recording his second bogey at the 15th.

Fernandez-Castano was on track for a share of top spot in his home event until he bogeyed the par-five last, but his theatrical front nine - he also hit five birdies in a row, from the third - kept him firmly in the picture.

Gagli, by contrast, timed his run late, with an outward 34 which was no more than solid pursue by an eagle at the 11th and a closing birdie hat-trick. Rumford, meanwhile, started at the 10th with back-to-back birdies and hit five more in six holes between the 17th and fourth on a solid card.

Edoardo Molinari made a steady commencement to his round after starting at the 10th, with eight successive pars before a birdie at the 18th and an eagle at the par-five first sparked a surge to six under. The Italian picked up another shot at the par-three fifth before closing with two more birdies.

That left him a shot ahead of a nine-strong group at five under which included his brother Francesco, who carded three consecutive birdies from the sixth in a bogey-free round. The group also feature three more Englishmen - Steve Webster, Graeme Storm and Lee Slattery - and two Spaniards, Alvaro Quiros and Eduardo de la Riva, and was finished by Welshman Bradley Dredge, Swede Peter Hanson and Tano Goya of Argentina.


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