Drysdale Fires Course-Record 62 in Moscow

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European Tour MOSCOW, Russia -- David Drysdale may want to take up residence at Le Meridian Moscow Country Club.
 
He seems to play his best there.
 
'I played really well last year and then in practice here on Tuesday and I managed to continue that today,' the Scotsman said Thursday after firing a 10- under-par 62 to take the first-round lead at the Russian Open.
 
Drysdale, who shared third place last year, tied the course record set by Iain Pyman when he won in 2002, going out in 33 before setting fire to the back nine with five birdies and an eagle for an inward 29.
 
With exempt players scarce in the field, Drysdale knows Russia's only 18-hole golf course is providing a great opportunity for players to earn their European Tour cards this week.
 
'I think there's only one player who is exempt to the European Tour and that's Ignacio Garrido, so this is a great chance for someone to get a tour exemption for the next two and a half years,' said Drysdale, a two-time winner on the European Challenge Tour who is winless in five career seasons on the European Tour.
 
'That could be life changing. I have been playing well all summer and putting myself in great positions. Hopefully this could be the week for me.'
 
Drysdale, 31, managed to outgun a low-scoring field by finishing a combined eight-under on the par four and par fives.
 
His lead is one shot over Spain's Carlos Rodiles, who shot a bogey-free, nine- under 63 on Thursday to stand alone in second place.
 
'That felt pretty good, especially when you consider the kind of year that I am having,' said Rodiles, who hasn't cracked the top 250 in the Order of Merit on either tour this season.
 
'Order of Merit things have not gone too well for me so far, but it is starting to get better, even though my attitude hasn't been too good. I have been hitting the ball much better recently, so it is just a matter of wanting to be here and wanting to play, which I definitely want after that round today.'
 
South African James Kingston and Francis Valera of Spain share third place at seven-under 65, one shot ahead of Sweden's Fredrik Andersson and Spaniard Alejandro Canizares.
 
Philip Golding, Rodolfo Gonzalez, Garry Houston and Gary Murphy are tied for eighth place at five-under 67.
 
Defending champion Mikael Lundberg of Sweden opened with a four-under 68 to stand tied for 12th place with eight others. Last year, Lundberg defeated Andrew Butterfield with a birdie on the fourth sudden-death playoff hole to claim his maiden European Tour win.
 
The Englishman Butterfield also shot a 68 Thursday and is one of the eight players tied with Lundberg.
 
This is the first year the Russian Open is a fully-fledged European Tour event. It was a Challenge Tour event from 1996 to 2002 and a dual-ranking event from 2003 to 2005.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Cadillac Russian Open