August 26, 2016: Jeev Milkha Singh seems ready to reap the rewards of his recent hard work. The Indian shot five under 66 at the Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort to plant himself inside the top ten at the end of the first round. Tom Lewis looked on course for the first 59 in European Tour history before three late bogeys handed him a share of the first-round lead at the Made in Denmark. SSP Chawrasia shot an even 71, but his effort did not count for much on a low scoring day in Farso.
Jeev made four birdies on the front nine as he reached the turn in 33 shots. His lone blemish on an otherwise brilliant day came at the par-4 fifth hole.
He added two more birdies on the back nine to complete a solid round of golf. Chawrasia played well too, but his even 71 left in T73. The man from Kolkata will need to raise the bar on Friday to ensure his presence for the weekend.
Thomas Pieters and Joakim Lagergren had earlier equalled the course record at Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort with a pair of 62s and at that point, it looked like they would be the leading duo at the end of day one.
That was before Lewis produced one of the most scintillating spells of the season – getting to 12 under after 13 holes – but three bogeys in his closing five holes saw him sign for another 62 and sit at nine under, a shot ahead of Welshman Bradley Dredge.
Those rounds were the lowest on Tour this season without preferred lies and the lowest opening rounds of the campaign but when Lewis made an eagle at the fourth, it looked like history was on the cards.
The Englishman turned in 28 with seven birdies thanks to some brilliant approach play after starting on the back nine, and a hat-trick of further gains from the first had him ten under after 12 holes.
When he rolled in a 45-footer on the fourth for eagle, he could par his way home to get into the history books but a ragged tee-shot and a miss from five feet led to a first dropped shot of the day on the fifth.
A poor chip and two putts saw an opportunity go begging on the next and a horrible lie off the tee on the eighth led to a bogey before another dropped shot on the ninth.
That round still represents an excellent day for the 25 year old, who lost his card last season after a poor late run but has made his last three cuts following a slow start to the season.
“I’m massively disappointed right now,” he said. “It’s a difficult one teeing it up late and having a lot of people out there to see something good, and not to come back with something special is a shame.”
“There were no nerves but I tried too hard. Everyone does that when they think and I just started thinking, which maybe is the reason I backed up. Next time I will learn. It shows to me I can shoot 59.”