A wonderful first day of the Made in Denmark presented by FREJA produced a hole-in-one, some stunning spin and a plugged lie that has to be seen to be believed.
Here’s everything you need to know from day one at Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort.
Tight at the top
The wind was the winner on day one as five players could not be separated at the summit after 18 holes. Alejandro Cañizares, Edoardo Molinari and Paul Waring have all tasted victory on the European Tour, while Tom Murray and Matthew Southgate are looking for their breakthroughs. There were 46 players within three shots of the lead and in the group just one back, a serial winner was on the prowl.
No let-up from Matt Wallace
In eight previous rounds at this event, the defending champion had shot more than 69 just once and an opening 67 maintained that record through round nine. Arriving off the back of a best ever Major finish at the US PGA Championship, Wallace made five birdies and a single bogey and is already eyeing a first win of yet another remarkable season. “There’s a long way to go for the rest of the year and I haven’t won yet so it’s important to me to try and get that and try and do that this week,” he said.
Sensational Simonsen the hero of Himmerland Hill
The famous 16th was playing just 96 yards on Thursday and local favourite Martin Simonsen gave the crowds something to cheer about as he spun a 54-degree wedge back into the hole for an ace. Both he and his caddie won a luxury cart from Garia Luxury Golf Carts for their trouble, and the Dane was delighted to get his reward on the most iconic hole in his homeland. “All Danish players especially dream about making a hole-in-one over there,” he said. “There’s no place I’d rather do it than here. I have four holes-in-one now in tournament golf but it’s the first time I’ve won anything.”
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) May 23, 2019
There are plugged lies and there are plugged lies, and then there is what Pablo Larrazábal was left facing in his opening round. One of the finest bunker players around, not even Larrazábal’s Spanish hands could get him out of the bunker and he made a brilliant job to get out – and close – in two. Most amateurs would have taken a spade in there rather than a sand wedge. The stuff of golfing nightmares.