Scotland’s Scott Jamieson shot a first round 66 to take a one shot lead in the Open de Espana at Real Club de Golf El Prat, Barcelona.
Playing in only his 11th European Tour event, Jamieson’s round consisted of eight birdies but the player blotted his card with a pair of bogeys to close one shot ahead of India’s Jeev Milkha Singh, Frenchman Romain Wattel, England’s Steve Webster and local player Pablo Larrazabal.
Jamieson has already reached the top-20 in three of his past events on Tour and started well, making a birdie at the 1st hole, before dropping a shot on the 4th. Two more birdies saw the Scot turn in 34, and he made a further five birdies and one bogey on the homeward nine to come home in 32.
France’s Gregory Bourdet spearheaded a four-way tie for fourth place after a round of 4-under par 68. Bourdet, who recently finished runner-up in Malaysia, was joined by Ireland’s Peter Lawrie, England’s Anthony Wall and South African Thomas Aiken.
Danny Willet came out best of the tipster three-ball after day one; the Englishman finishing 2-under par and sharing 17th place, despite struggling to hold onto gains. Nicolas Colsaerts meanwhile finished level par, despite twice getting to 2-under par in his opening round, while George Coetzee struggled and eventually closed with a 4-over par 76 to leave his struggling to make the cut.
Ryder Cup skipper Colin Montgomerie was 3-under par with 3 holes left to play but double-bogeyed the par-4 16th hole. However, he birdied the next and closed his round with a par to finish 2-under par for the round.
Montgomerie’s successor as captain for the 2012 renewal at Medinah opened with a level-par round of 72.
Elliot Saltman, making his return to the Tour after a three-month ban for cheating, also shot an opening 72.
He said afterwards:
“I’m glad to be back as it’s been a long three months and it feels like I’ve never been away.”
“George O’Grady and David Garland have both spoken to me and that was nice of them. I thought it might have been a wee bit difficult but it’s like nothing happened.”
Defending champion Alvaro Quiros of Spain opened the defence of his title with a 2-over par 74.