Derksen shines through fog as McGinley struggles
Published 18/02/2011 | 08:23
Dutchman Robert-Jan Derksen grabbed the clubhouse lead at the fog-hit Avantha Masters yesterday with a blemish-free opening round.
Twice a winner on the European Tour, Derksen defied a swirling wind to card a six-under 66 for a one-shot advantage over Briton Mark Foster, Argentine Julio Zapata and Australia's Darren Beck, who still has five holes to play. Beck is among 66 players who will return today to complete their rounds after fog caused a delay of more than three hours.
Paul McGinley still has 10 holes of his first round to play this morning and the Dubliner is facing an uphill battle to make the cut. He endured a miserable start to his round with a triple-bogey on the first and was three-over after eight. Gareth Maybin is one-under-par after 10 holes.
Derksen has no such worries and is already thinking about winning the tournament. "If things go well this week, I have a bet with my caddie that we will take the trophy to the Taj Mahal on Monday," he said at the DLF Golf and Country Club.
"That would be great but I have to win first, which is the difficult thing," added the 37-year-old, who held off Ernie Els to win the 2003 Dubai Desert Classic and also lifted the 2005 Madeira Islands Open title.
Jeev Milkha Singh and Rashid Khan posted matching 68s to spearhead the Indian challenge. Nursing a back injury, 39-year-old Singh had an eventful round that included finding water, a two-stroke penalty for overlooking a local rule after his ball hit a floodlight tower and a closing eagle on the par-five ninth.
Meanwhile, at the Northern Trust Open at the Riviera Country Club, California, Padraig Harrington was well placed after carding a three-under par 68 for his first round.
Harrington's opening round included an eagle on the first hole, his tenth, leaving him just one shot off the early clubhouse lead.
The Avantha Masters,
Live, Sky Sports 1, 8.0am
Northern Trust Open Live, Sky Sports 3, 8.0pm