By Nitanti Alur
Photo by Golffile
Cormac Sharvin had his best European Tour performance during round one of the English Championship, he is currently leading the tournament at Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel & CC on eight under par.
The Northern Irishman got off to a fantastic start with consecutive birdies on his first three holes, he unfortunately dropped a shot on the par 4, 5th but recovered well with two more birdies on the par 4, 7th and par 5, 9th to make the turn four under par.
The 27-year-old sunk back to back birdies on the par 3, 11th and par 5, 12th but gave one back on the par 4, 13th. The Ardglass man fired in three more birdies on the 14th, 15th and 16th and parred the 17th and 18th to lead the English Championship by one shot. He needs to have a strong start tomorrow, keep his momentum and pile the pressure on the chasing pack as he aims to win his maiden European Tour title.
"It was a nice round, played really well, Didn't do too much wrong. Put it on the fairway, hit a lot of good shots and holed a few putts as well and it all added up to 63. Pretty happy to start well. A long way to go but it's always nice to shoot a good score on the first day and not put yourself out of it." Sharvin added
"I feel like last week I didn't play too badly, I just struggled on the greens. I did a lot of work with Dean (Robertson) my old college coach who has been caddying for me on the UK Swing. Did a lot of work on my putting process and it seemed to work today. Hopefully it keeps going in that direction and see where it takes us." He said
Paul Dunne finished his opening round on one under. He had a steady front nine with a birdie on the par 5, 2ndbut dropped a shot on the par 4, 7th and recovered well to birdie the par 5, 9th to make the turn one under par.
The 27-year-old had a consistent back nine but unfortunately dropped a shot on the par 4, 17th, he recovered well to finish with a birdie on the last and is currently tied 92nd. Dunne’s mistakes cost him dearly, and the Greystones man needs to have a strong round tomorrow in order to make it into the weekend.
Jonathan Caldwell will be disappointed with his opening round. His front nine started off with a birdie on the 1stbut, unfortunately, had a double bogey on the par 3, 4th. He birdied the par 5, 9th to make the turn on level par.
The Northern Irishman had a similar back nine which consisted of one birdie and two bogeys and finished one over par, tied 117th. Caldwell has an uphill battle on his hands if he is going to make the cut.
English pair Laurie Canter and David Howell had both held the lead before dropping shots on the 17th to fall back into the pack, ending round one of the third event of the UK Swing alongside Belgian Thomas Detry, Scott Vincent of Zimbabwe and Australians Min Woo Lee and Jason Scrivener.
They sit one shot ahead of a group of nine players, including Belgian Ryder Cup player Nicolas Colsaerts and rising Danish star Rasmus Højgaard, who recorded rounds of 65 to sit at six under par as the European Tour returned to the Hertfordshire venue for the first time since 1999.
Laurie Canter: “I got off to a great start. I said to my caddie on the putting green I didn’t feel like I was getting to grips with the greens. Then on the first hole I holed a 60-footer right across it. Funny how that happened. Played really nicely. I’d have that swing back on 17, but I’m happy with today.
“I have tried to do things a bit differently because we have the opportunity to. I’ve always played with keeping the card hanging over my head. Someone I work with asked “how are you going to approach the game differently?” It’s not rocket science. I’ve tried to do a couple of things, it’s early to say it’s working, I’ve only played nine rounds. It's been more enjoyable – which is one thing I’ve taken out of it and I’m having fun out there. We’ll see how long that continues.”
Thomas Detry: “It was really good. I built up a bit of momentum from last week I think and I got off to a really good start, with an eagle chance at the second, a birdie putt at the third and I was just rolling – had four more birdies on the last four holes of the front nine. Then I kept it going. I made two little mistakes on 11 and 17 but I’m very pleased with the way I’m playing golf right now.
“You’ve just got to forget about it and this week is just another chance to put my name up there and have a chance on Sunday. That’s what I think I’ve done today and hopefully I can keep going the next few days. Last week was not easy, I played some really good golf but Sam Horsfield hit an amazing shot on 17 to birdie that hole and beat me by one, so we just move on.”
David Howell: “It's been a long time since I've put a good first round on the board to be honest. It's what I've been crying out for. I've played some reasonable golf in spurts since we've come back but haven't got off to a great start. Today it happened so it was lovely. Nice to see my name somewhere near the top of the leaderboard, if not the top.
“There was a lovely family, the only gallery we would have, in their property behind the green (on the 15th). Might be the only golf fans we play in front of for the entire UK Swing. They happened to be sat there on their own lawn when the ball went in. They were the give away that it was indeed an eagle.”
Min Woo Lee: “I just striped it awesome today. I hit it really good with my irons and my driver and rolled a few in. I think my longest putt was 25 feet, so I was pretty happy with that. It's scoreable but you've also got to hit your shots. I hit it really awesome and close to the hole so it gave me a lot of opportunities.
“The results weren't there for me (the last two weeks) I missed the cut. I felt pretty down after those two and then you come out here and play really good. That's golf. I worked hard in my break and on the weekends when I missed the cut so it's nice to come out here and shoot a good score."