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Round One Report
Vitor Lopes admits he is a man on a mission as he recorded his lowest ever European Tour round to take a two shot lead at the end of day one of the Open de Portugal at Royal Óbidos.
The 24 year old typically plies his trade on the Alps Tour, but took up national spots at the Portugal Masters last week and here at Royal Óbidos Spa & Golf Resort. The decision looks to have paid off as he took advantage of the calmer afternoon conditions to card a seven under par round of 65 and take the lead in a European Tour event for the first time.
Damien Perrier of France overcame a neck injury to record a five under par round of 67, joining Carlos Pigem in a tie for second place, after the Spaniard battled the worst of the morning wind and rain to emerge as the best of the early finishers in the dual ranking event with the European Challenge Tour.
Another home favourite in Ricardo Santos is a shot further back at four under par alongside American Julian Suri – who was runner up the last time he played this event in 2017 – Alexander Knappe of Germany and South Africa’s Garrick Higgo.
Vitor Lopes: “I am very happy, it is my best score on the European Tour and we got the round done so I will relax tonight.
“It was a windy day and we got lucky not getting the bad weather with the rain, so I was just focusing on hitting greens and fairways, and some putts dropped in. Through 12 I was already seven under so I just kept the same mentality and I could finish it off.
“It is always a big week playing at home and in a European Tour event. I played last week so this week I am more relaxed, I am a man on a mission to make the most of it because I am currently on the Alps Tour playing but I have skipped two tournaments, and I was doing well on the rankings, so I hope I made the right decision.”
Damien Perrier: “It was a very good round of golf. I made seven birdies, two bogeys, which were stupid little mistakes on not the toughest holes, so I felt like I was playing very well. I even missed some short putts at the very beginning of the round today and lipped out on 17. There were plenty of opportunities around today so I converted most of them, but still I could do even lower.
“I’m still pleased because to be honest I had my neck blocked yesterday so I was not even sure if I could tee off today. I’ve been seeing the physio and taking medication and it’s not been easy for me but thankfully I had a really good warm up and could play. It’s getting better, so hopefully it will stay like this and I can play well tomorrow.”
Carlos Pigem: “I started really well with four birdies in a row and then had a tough time on nine and ten with two bogeys, but I stayed patient and made three more birdies. At the beginning it was very tough, especially in the rain and the wind. When the conditions are tough you play safer. You don’t want to be too aggressive because you know pars are great and you can still make putts from five and six metres.
“It’s a tough course. We’re playing it soft, which helps us, especially coming from Valderrama and Portugal Masters last week which were really firm. It was pretty windy and this course is long, so it’s challenging.
“I’m really happy – every time I have an interview it’s good news because it means I’ve been playing great. Let’s see if I can follow this over the next three days.”
Round one scores
65 V LOPES (POR),
67 D PERRIER (FRA), C PIGEM (ESP),
68 A KNAPPE (GER), J SURI (USA), R SANTOS (POR), G HIGGO (RSA),
69 R SCIOT-SIEGRIST (FRA), N VON DELLINGSHAUSEN (GER), A WILSON (ENG), G KING (ENG), D FOOS (GER), G KRISTJANSSON (ISL), D BOOTE (WAL), R KAKKO (FIN), N KIMSEY (ENG), R GOUVEIA (POR), G COETZEE (RSA),
70 A PLANT (ENG), J KRUGER (RSA), M SIEM (GER), J DONALDSON (WAL), D YOUNG (SCO), J BRUN (FRA), C MIVIS (BEL), C SAHLSTROM (SWE), A TURNER (ENG), C HANNA (USA), A ZEMMER (ITA), M ANTCLIFF (AUS), B RITTHAMMER (GER), J DANTORP (SWE), H ELLIS (ENG), H STUREHED (SWE), J SANDBORG (SWE),
71 A DAYDOU (FRA), S FERREIRA (POR), P FIGUEIREDO (POR), B NEIL (SCO), F LACROIX (FRA),
72 F MORY (FRA), F OLIVEIRA (POR), P ANGLES (ESP), T BESSA (POR), J WRISDALE (ENG), D HUIZING (NED), R DE SOUSA (SUI), A COCKERILL (CAN), E CUARTERO BLANCO (ESP), C BLOMSTRAND (SWE), J FAHRBRING (SWE), N M?LLER (DEN), S TARRIO (ESP), R WATTEL (FRA), P ERIKSSON (SWE), G FDEZ-CASTA?O (ESP),
73 P LENCART (AM) (POR), B RUSCH (SUI), G BLOOR (ENG), G STAL (FRA), P EDBERG (SWE), K JOHANNESSEN (NOR), R ENOCH (WAL), M FENASSE (FRA), R MANSELL (ENG), T KOIVISTO (USA), E WALKER (SCO), B MOORE (ENG), A JOHN (GER), S MANLEY (WAL), J THOMSON (ENG), T CLEMENTS (ENG), N H?JGAARD (DEN), E DI NITTO (ITA), R MCGOWAN (ENG),
74 H MAGNUS (ISL), M WIEGELE (AUT), M PENGE (ENG), E KOFSTAD (NOR), E BERTHEUSSEN (NOR), M FORD (ENG), M GASPAR (POR), F MACCARIO (ITA), R PETERSSON (SWE), P ORIOL (ESP), R EVANS (ENG), H ARKENAU (GER), B HELLGREN (SWE), O LINDELL (FIN), G MOYNIHAN (IRL), H LONG (GER),
75 S GREGORY (ENG), M SIMONSEN (DEN), L JOHNSTON (SCO), J MAGALHAES (POR), R VAN WEST (NED), A WU (CHN), P L?NGFORS (SWE), N KRISTENSEN (DEN), M SCHNEIDER (GER), A KARLSSON (SWE), B POKE (DEN), M OVESEN (DEN), N KEARNEY (IRL),
76 C HOWIE (SCO), D GAVINS (ENG), M BALDWIN (ENG), S FERNANDEZ (ESP), A ROMERO (ARG), J LIMA (POR), P DUNNE (IRL), G BOURDY (FRA), T GOUVEIA (POR), S TILEY (ENG),
77 O LENGDEN (SWE), L SCALISE (ITA), T CRUZ (POR), J K?LBING (GER), M LUNDBERG (SWE),
78 U COUSSAUD (FRA), J KASKE (FIN), E LIPPARELLI (ITA), W ORMSBY (AUS), J ABBOTT (ENG),
80 S VINCENT (ZIM),
86 A ABREU (POR),