Sep 1, 2017: Callum Shinkwin showed no signs of rust after his five-week break as he fired a six under par 66 to hold the first-round lead at the D+D REAL Czech Masters. India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar scored two-under-par 70 and tied at T27.
Though Bhullar had a bad start with a bogey in the initial hole, he bounced back well with 2 birdies at 5th and 9th holes in the front nine. He had a bogie free back nine with another birdie at 15th hole to finish with two-under-par 70.
The Englishman Shinkwin had not played since missing the cut at the Open Championship but arrived at Albatross Golf Resort full of confidence having finished second at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open the week before.
He recorded eight birdies in morning session and with rain arriving for the second wave, nobody could catch him at the top of the leaderboard.
South African Dylan Frittelli, Swede Pontus Widegren and Englishman James Heath were then at five under, a shot clear of Felipe Aguilar, Jaco Ahlers, Chris Hanson, Peter Karmis, Craig Lee, Oscar Lengden, James Morrison and last week’s winner Julian Suri.
“I played pretty well, it was a solid start,” said Shinkwin. “I played the par fives well, I kept the ball in play and holed my fair share of putts.
Frittelli – the LYONESS OPEN powered by ORGANIC+ champion – started on the back nine and birdied the tenth, 11th and 14th before a double-bogey on the 16th threatened to derail his progress. The 27 year old recovered admirably, birdieing the 18th, fourth, sixth and ninth to get within a shot of the lead.
Qualifying School graduate Widegren turned in 33 with birdies on the 14th, 15th and 17th before adding gains on the first, seventh and ninth to go with a single blemish on the third.
Heath turned in 35 with three birdies and two bogeys but caught fire after the turn, birdieing the tenth, 12th, 13th and 14th.
American Suri made three bogeys in a roller coaster 68, South African Ahlers dropped two shots, countryman Karmis, England’s Hanson and Scot Lee got round with a single blemish while Chilean Aguilar, Swede Lengden and England’s Morrison were bogey-free.
Defending champion Paul Peterson was then alongside 2014 winner Jamie Donaldson in a group of 14 players at three under.