Sunday 19 January 2020

No clubs, no practice, but Lawrie stays in hunt

Liam Kelly

IRELAND'S Peter Lawrie found the silver lining in a dark cloud of misfortune which blighted his build-up to round one of the Made in Denmark at Himmerland Golf & Spa in Aalborg.

Lawrie, 189th in the Race to Dubai rankings, faces a huge battle to retain his playing rights for 2015, and came back off a four-week break looking for a flying start to the tournament in Denmark.

But when he got to Aalborg on Monday, his clubs were delayed in transit.

On Tuesday he could not practise due to a thunderstorm, and he wasn't listed for duty in Wednesday's Pro-am.

The preparations didn't go well, but when it came to action yesterday, Lawrie produced a fine one-under-par 71.

That left him just four shots off the pace set by Great Dane Thomas Bjorn, Chile's Felipe Aguilar and Bradley Dredge of Wales.

Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen was next best at two under par, and Lawrie was joined by eight other players on one under.

"I've been here since Monday. I had no clubs, so I had to walk the course. We had that thunderstorm on Tuesday, and I wasn't in the Pro-am on Wednesday, so I'm delighted to shoot under par not having played the course," said Lawrie.

The Himmerland course is hosting Denmark's first big European Tour event in 11 years.

Over 15,000 people attended yesterday, and they saw a strong field battling strong winds and a challenging layout which featured true, but tricky, undulating greens.

Only 13 players managed to break par, which indicated the severity of the test, and made Lawrie's performance all the more impressive.

"My game is coming together slowly but surely," he said. "I made a few changes and I have to stick with it. I have been sticking with it, but it's been difficult. Hopefully this is the start of good things to come.

"I've put in an awful lot of work with nothing being given back to me at all. I really have struggled all year - not struggled on the range, but struggling to bring it out onto the golf course.

"I'm just looking forward now to knuckling down and hopefully playing well in the next couple of weeks."

Northern Ireland's Michael Hoey was in good shape at two-under after 10 holes, but a double bogey seven on the par-5 11th, and bogeys on 17 and 18 pushed him two over par 73.

Damien McGrane was also on 73. The other Irish scores were: Gareth Maybin (75), Simon Thornton (76), David Higgins (76); Kevin Phelan (82) - including a horrible 10 on the par-five 13th.

Made in Denmark tournament,

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