Alexander Levy takes clubhouse lead at Spanish Open.
Alexander Levy was among the early pacesetters on the opening day of the Spanish Open at Valderrama on Thursday after posting a five-under-par round of 66. Levy carded seven birdies during his round as he finished a shot clear of Welshman Stuart Manley.
It wasn’t such a good day for Sergio Garcia, who could not make the most a bright start and eventually carded a three-over-par 74. The Spaniard’s round could have been even worse but he managed to hole two long putts on the 17th and 18th after failing to find either green in regulation.
Garcia finished 34th in the US Masters last week and admitted that he was struggling mentally due to a gruelling schedule during the opening months of the season. The 36-year-old’s Sergio Garcia Foundation is hosting the event at the prestigious Real Club Valderama in Andalucia this week.
He said: “Scheduling-wise, with the Olympics and everything you have to find a way of getting your numbers (of tournaments) up in America and Europe earlier on in the year. Unfortunately you have to go through stretches where I would not like to play as much but I have to.”
Garcia said on the eve of the tournament that he rates Valderrama is his favourite course and was delighted that a number of high profile names including Martin Kaymer, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Thomas Bjorn and Simon Kjeldsen had confirmed their participation.
Two-time major winner Kaymer, enjoyed a fruitful day after shooting a solid 69, which leaves him three shots behind clubhouse leader Levy. He added: “It is a golf course you would like to win on during your career. Valderrama, Wentworth, St Andrews. These are the core of the European Tour, so I wanted to give it another go.” Scotland’s Craig Lee was among the early leaders but dropped back after a succession of bogeys on the last six holes.