CELADNA, Czech Republic (AP) — Peter Lawrie of Ireland shot a 6-under 66 Thursday to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Czech Open.
Another Irishman, Damien McGrane, Victor Dubuisson of France and Pedro Oriol of Spain were tied for second. Mikael Lundberg of Sweden and Shane Lowry of Ireland were two strokes back with 68s.
Seeking his second European Tour victory after the Spanish Open in 2008, Lawrie produced six birdies and no bogeys at Prosper Golf Resort in the Czech town of Celadna.
“I had no bogeys, which always helps,” Lawrie said. “Plus, I made a couple of nice up-and-downs when I really needed them, on the second and third, which were my 11th and 12th holes. Other than that, I played lovely, solid golf, and every chance I gave myself from short range, I holed it – although I missed about a ten-footer at the last.”
Lawrie lost last year’s Czech Open in a playoff with eventual winner Peter Hanson of Sweden and Gary Boyd.
“The course is playing totally different this year to last year,” Lawrie said. “It’s much softer. You’re hitting your driver on pretty much every hole, and the ball’s not running out in any shape or form.”
Miguel Angel Jimenez, who co-designed the 7,452-yard course, shot a 76.