Soudal Open R1 – Golf Today

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A group of golfers playing in the Aegean Messinia Pro-Am at Costa Navarino International Olympic Academy Golf Course

Sam Jones made his first career albatross at the par-5 17th and closed with a 62 marred by a single bogey at the par-3 2nd to take a two-shot lead at 9-under at the Soudal Open in Belgium.

“Initially it was going to be a three-shot, was going to lay it up,” he said of the 17th.

“Thought about three iron off the tee, hit three wood, pulled it a little bit but hit it nicely.

“Got up there, had 248 metres to the flag, said to my caddie Keith that it was the perfect three wood, into the breeze a little bit.

“I was going well already at that stage so I thought if I made a bogey it was no big deal. Just hit it, flushed it, called to it to be good in the air and it was. First ever albatross, not a bad place to do it.”

The 27-year-old rookie from New Zealand turned pro two weeks before getting his Tour card at the Qualifying School in November. His opening 62 would have been a new course record if preferred lies weren’t in place.

“I’m taking it as it comes,” said Jones. “The first few months have been pretty good, golf has been average but it’s been pretty good the last few weeks. I’m looking forward to getting into this European Swing.”

England’s Matthew Jordan and Andrew Wilson are tied in second place at 7-under after carding 64s. Tied alongside them are Spain’s Nacho Elvira, France’s Romain Langasque and Denmark’s Niklas Norgaard with Wilson and Elvira remaining bogey-free.

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