NEWPORT, Wales – Lee Slattery overcame a sore wrist and windy conditions to shoot an opening round 4-under 67 Thursday for a one-shot lead at the Wales Open.
Marcel Siem of Germany was second after a 68.
Slattery said on his website he struggled with a wrist injury during last week's BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth and it contributed to him missing the cut. The Englishman made any wrist pain look meaningless despite the tough pin positions at Celtic Manor.
Ryder Cup hopeful Paul Lawire struggled to master the windy conditions, shooting 3 over par.
Miguel Angel Jimenez, who played a part in winning the trophy for Europe when the event was staged at Celtic Manor in 2010, struggled to a 76.
Defending champion Alex Noren withdrew with a bad back after shooting 81. Noren had six bogeys, a double-bogey and a quadruple-bogey.
Noren qualified for the U.S. Open alongside Slattery, but it was unknown whether his injury will allow him to compete in the second major of the year at the Olympic Club in San Francisco in two weeks.
Gary Boyd of England had to retire injured, too, complaining of dizzy spells after 10s at the par-4 5th and 17th holes in a round of 17 over.
Slattery won his first European Tour title last year at the Madrid Masters, and qualified for the U.S Open on Monday at Walton Heath to make his first tournament on American soil.