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After a testing first day in the Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship, European Senior Tour star, Barry Lane, leads by three on six-under from Paul Lawrie
After a testing first day in the Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship, European Senior Tour star, Barry Lane, leads the way by three on six-under from Paul Lawrie.
On a short but testing course, made even more so by swirling breezes, Farmfoods British Par 3 debutant Barry Lane took the tournament by the scruff of the neck on a leaderboard that reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ of Europe’s main tours past and present.
Three behind Lane is Paul Lawrie, who shot an incredible 46 around the par-54 layout last year, with the large group a further two shots back featuring Robert Rock, Charley Hull, Peter Baker, Andrew Sherborne, Andrew Marshall and Sam Walker.
Nailcote Hall owner, Rick Cressman, explained at the Players’ Dinner last night that he had been trying to persuade Lane to play for the last 17 years and had finally got his man this year.
There is just a sense that a less in-depth knowledge of perhaps the most demanding 2,096 yards of golf in the UK is no bad thing!
"I've never played the course before – I only played nine holes last night and thought to myself, 'this is going to be tricky'," said Lane afterwards, “I'm really pleased with my round today.
"The course was certainly not forgiving and you can easily drop shots if you're not accurate. I've not played for two weeks and wasn't expecting to play so well.
“This is a great event - I couldn't believe the crowds today, it really surprised me. I was playing with Tony Jacklin, which was a fantastic honour, and I really did have great fun.”
Later at the dinner, Lane told me he’d only missed two or three greens all round, and got up and down a couple of times when he did.
Anyone who’s ever played the course will know what a remarkable achievement that is! Lane packed eight birdies into his round, including four in a row from the 13th.
Equally remarkable was Lawrie’s round, which featured just three birdies, but no dropped shots.
Past British Par 3 Champions, Baker and Sherborne, set the pace at one-under earlier in the day, while huge crowds watched 2014 Ladies European Tour Order of Merit winner Charley Hull join them on the group at one-under later on.
Today, someone will walk off with the £25,000 top prize won by Eddie Pepperell and Tommy Fleetwood in the last two years, with the weather set to be a little more unsettled than yesterday’s glorious sunshine.
I will be enjoying a front-row seat on all the action as I partner Tony Johnstone, who shot four-over yesterday, in the pro-am format, teeing off at 11.50am.
Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and even instruction despite his own somewhat iffy swing (he knows how to do it, but just can't do it himself). He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 89 of the Next 100. He has played well over 900 courses worldwide in 35 countries, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content. On his first trip to Abu Dhabi a decade ago he foolishly asked Paul Casey what sort of a record he had around the course there. "Well, I've won it twice if that's what you mean!" came the reply...
Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf
Jeremy is currently playing...
Driver: Ping G425 LST 10.5˚ (draw setting), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 55 S shaft
3 wood: Ping G425 Max 15˚ (set to flat +1), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 65 S shaft
Hybrid: Ping G425 17˚, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 S shaft
Irons 3-PW: Ping i525, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts
Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 50˚ and 54˚, 12˚ bounce, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts
Putter: Ping Fetch 2021 model, 33in shaft (set flat 2)
Ball: Varies but mostly now TaylorMade Tour Response
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