Lawrie and Gallacher rays of sunshine in Portugal
Scotland’s golfers may be more accustomed to playing in howling
gales and torrential rain, but Paul Lawrie and Stephen Gallacher
enjoyed the sunshine as they joined in with the birdie bonanza on
the first day at the Portugal
The glorious conditions left the Oceanico Victoria course at
Vilamoura open to attack and Lawrie and Gallacher’s opening round
67s were only good enough for a share of seventh spot.
Sweden’s Robert Karlsson, the former Dunhill links champion,
carded a bogey-free round of eight-under-par 64 to join compatriot
Johan Edfors and Holland’s Maarten Lafeber at the top of the
The Scottish pair were content although Gallacher was left to
rue a dropped shot on his final hole. The Press and Journal
columnist collected a trio of birdies on each nine before the slip
up at the last.
Lawrie also carded just one bogey and was four under par at the
turn after a run of four 3s to his night hole, which equated to two
birdies and an eagle.
Karlsson and Edfors led a strong Swedish challenge. Another
Swede, Alexander Noren, was a shot further back, with Finland’s
David Horsey was the best-placed Englishman on six under,
alongside veteran Irishman Paul McGinley.
“I think with this kind of set-up with not so much rough, that’s
very often what we play in Sweden,” Karlsson said. “It’s a bit
similar to Swedish golf, and the speed of the greens as well are
not super fast. I think we are very used to playing this type of
golf on our home courses where we grew up.”
Edfors did much of his good work in his back nine with five
birdies to add to the three he produced on the way out.
Lafeber might have held the lead on his own but for a double
bogey on the par-four 18th, which ruined an otherwise impressive
round that included nine birdies.
Of Europe’s Ryder Cup heroes, England’s Ross Fisher and Edoardo
Molinari were best placed after shooting four-under-par rounds of
Miguel Angel Jimenez was two shots further back.
Aberdeen’s Richie Ramsay needs to make up ground after his 70
while Alastair Forsyth endured a frustrating one over par 73.
Bothwell’s Steven O’Hara posted a 68.