Clement Sordet leads Nordea Masters after career-best 62
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 18/08/18 7:51pm
Clement Sordet fired a career-best 62 to claim a two-shot lead after the first round of the Nordea Masters as Lee Slattery and Scott Jamieson also enjoyed excellent starts.
Sordet's superb eight-birdie opener matched the best opening round on the European Tour this season and put the Frenchman in position to make significant strides up the Race to Dubai standings.
The Tour rookie, who is currently languishing at 164th in the Race to Dubai, made his birdies in bunches, making four in a row to start his round before he followed a run of six pars with three straight gains from the 11th and added one more at the last.
"I've not been playing great the past few weeks so it feels really good to start with an eight under," said Sordet, a four-time winner on the Challenge Tour. The game feels really nice and I'm really looking forward to this week.
"I hit some really good shots. I birdied the first and then I hit it close on the next three holes, so that helps. I wasn't really focusing on the score, I was just enjoying it. It wasn't easy out there, there was a lot of wind and I'm glad I shot eight under."
Jamieson, by his own admission, is also in a "sticky situation" as he currently sits 126th in the Race to Dubai, with only the top 110 retaining their European Tour cards for the following season.
But the Scot lifted his spirits with a 64 containing nine birdies, eight of them coming in a classy 11-hole stretch, although he also blotted his card with three bogeys.
"It was great, 64 sounds better than six under so I like the sound of that," said Jamieson, who bogeyed the sixth - his 15th - and dropped another shot at the next after a visit to the water hazard.
"On seven I never thought it was going in the water, but five was the one I got lucky on, I caught a gust and came up a little short but it held the bank, it didn't go in the water. Seven has been playing really tough so a five on that hole is not too bad today.
"It could have been a lot better to be honest. I missed a couple of six footers and made a bogey with a wedge in my hand on 11, so my front nine could have been a lot better, but on my back nine I had a chip in and a couple of errant shots that I got away with."
Lee Slattery missed a six-foot putt for eagle at the last to miss out on outright second place, but his fifth birdie over the last seven holes lifted him alongside Jamieson on six under, while Slattery's fellow Englishmen, Paul Waring and Daniel Brooks, were two strokes further back after day one.
Thorbjorn Olesen, hoping to impress Thomas Bjorn as the deadline for Ryder Cup qualification looms, birdied the last two holes to salvage a 68, while Bjorn himself was three under after only six holes before settling for a level-par 70.
Bjorn is alongside fan-favourite Andrew "Beef" Johnston, who was four under with five to play before dropping shots at each of the next four holes to plummet back down the leaderboard.
But it was a day to regret for defending champion Renato Paratore, who stumbled to the turn in 43 and carded his second double-bogey of the round at the last to return a nine-over 79.