David Higgins' delight at opening 67
DAVID HIGGINS cruised into contention at the Lindt Open d'Italia with a first-round 67.
Not too much has gone the Waterville man's way on the Tour this year, but from the moment he turned up at Golf Club de Torino this week, he felt right at home.
"I'm delighted, I played lovely, it's a course that really suits me," he enthused. "You've got to drive it straight and a good iron player will do well here. From the moment we got here, the course just fitted my eye," added Higgins, who lies 163rd in the money list and is battling to save the card he won at Q-School last year.
A polished performance yesterday as he equalled his low round of 2013 showed that Higgins (40) has the class to play his way out of a tight corner.
The Kerryman shared fourth, just two off the lead shared by Belgian boomer Nicolas Colsaerts, powerful Argentinian Ricardo Gonzalez and German rookie Max Keiffer, who posted sparkling 65s.
Higgins landed six birdies, created a few other chances and dropped just one shot at 16, where he failed to get up and down after a wayward tee shot.
Damien McGrane, an impressive third in Holland last Sunday, opened with a one-under 71, while Peter Lawrie (73), Gareth Maybin (74) and Michael Hoey (77) all have a lot of ground to make up.
Meanwhile red-hot Henrik Stenson piled up five birdies in six holes before adding a sixth at the 18th to shoot 64 and take the lead in the Tour Championship and the race for the FedEx Cup millions.
In glorious sunshine at East Lake Golf Club in the PGA Tour's season finale, Stenson birdied the second, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh as he raced to the turn in five-under-par 30.
Hot on his heels, Adam Scott fired a five-under-par 65, while Tiger Woods failed get a single birdie en route to his disappointing three-over 73.
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