CELADNA, Czech Republic – Peter Lawrie of Ireland shot a 6-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Czech Open on Thursday.
Another Irishman, Damien McGrane, Victor Dubuisson of France and Pedro Oriol of Spain were tied for second, while Swede Mikael Lundberg and Shane Lowry of Ireland were two strokes back on 68.
Seeking his second European Tour victory after the Spanish Open in 2008, Lawrie produced six birdies at Prosper Golf Resort in the northeastern 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,” he 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, carded a disappointing 76, including six bogeys.