Report by Anand Datla
August 20, 2015: David Horsey fired a brilliant 63 to set the clubhouse target midway through the opening day of the Made in Denmark at Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort. India’s Shiv Kapur shot a 69 in the first round of the event, while SSP Chawrasia was lying even through 15 holes. Jeev Milkha Singh was one over through the 13th hole.
Kapur started at the tenth hole, with a bogey at the 155 yard par three. But soon he would make three birdies in four holes to suddenly alter the texture of his card.
His second nine, which started at the first hole, saw Kapur make a pair of birdies which were neutralised by bogeys at the last two holes of his round – at the eighth and ninth holes.
Horsey equalled the lowest nine holes on The European Tour this year as he played the back nine in 28 after starting on the tenth and was threatening the first ever 59 in Tour history when he birdied the second.
But the three-time European Tour winner’s hopes took a major dent with a bogey on the fifth and when an eagle putt on the sixth failed to break, the chance was gone.
Three pars to close still left the reigning M2M Russian Open champion with a record low round at the tournament and a two shot lead over the resurgent Scot Paul Lawrie.
“It’s always fabulous to get off to a start like that,” said Horsey. “I holed my third shot on the 11th from 130 yards to make eagle, then I had five birdies in a row from the 13th, so it was a very good first nine.
“It was a little disappointing not to make a few more on the front nine – my back nine – but eight under 63 is a great score.
“The magic number crept into my head going down the fourth – my 13th – and I wouldn’t say it affected me too much but I three-putted, then made a mess of the next hole.
“After that it was just about getting to my strategy and finishing strongly, and I managed to do that.
“I’m pleased with how I handled myself in that situation, and you don’t get many opportunities to shoot 59, so I can probably be excused for letting it creep in.”
Lawrie’s bogey-free 65 was his lowest round in more than two years and he cited his improved putting as he recorded birdies on the 15th, 18th, third, fourth, sixth and eighth in an opening 65.
“It was decent,” he said. “The course is lovely and in fabulous condition. The greens are rolling pure and I holed some nice putts. When you hit it solid and putt nicely, six under is what you’re going to get.
“I have been known to have a wee moan about my putting, but recently it’s been great. I’ve got a new putter from Caledonia Putters which has a little bit firmer grooves, and I’m rolling the ball as well as I’ve ever rolled it.
“I’ve been getting better for a while. I’ve been playing nicely recently and I’ve certainly been putting better for about a month now.”
That 65 was enough to put him a shot clear of home favourite Søren Kjeldsen, Graeme Storm, Carlos Del Moral, Terry Pilkadaris and Peter Lawrie.
There was then a group of seven players on three under with Matt Fitzpatrick a further shot back despite having two eagles on his card.
The young Englishman got down in two on the 14th and three on the sixth but a double bogey on the ninth soured the end of his round.
That finish on the last was one better than defending champion Marc Warren, though, who closed with a treble to open with a level par 71.
A minute’s silence was held on course at 1200 to honour caddie Brian McFeat who sadly passed away recently.