Former Ryder Cup Captain Ian Woosnam took a one shot lead at the Travis Perkins Masters after carding a first round 69 for a three under par total.
The Welshman, winner of the 1991 Masters Tournament, birdied the sixth and eighth holes to make the turn in 33 strokes and then moved to four under par after further gains on the tenth and 11th holes.
A double bogey on 12, after a tricky lie next to a bunker, and a bogey on 14 saw him drop to one under par, but he made consecutive gains on the 16th and 17th holes to take a one stroke lead at Woburn.
“I was a little up and down today,” said Woosnam. “There was some great golf mixed in with some awful golf at times; but, to go round here in 69, I’m pretty happy.
“I had a poor tee shot on 12, and I hoped it had gone in the bunker but it was on the edge. I hit it to the back of the green and three putted. I then dropped one on the par five and was getting a bit frustrated.
“But I went on to make a great four on 15, there was a bit of luck there, but I felt I deserved it. Then I birdied 16 and 17, which was nice. I feel like I putted reasonably well today, which I’m pretty happy about.”
Five players share second place on two under par, including former British Masters winner Gary Orr and two-time Travis Perkins Masters winner Carl Mason.
Orr, who won the British Masters on the Duke’s Course at Woburn in 2000, made three birdies and three bogeys on the front nine, making the turn level par, but birdied the 11th and 17th holes to finish with a first round of 70.
“I didn’t play that well today, so I’m pleased with my score,” said Orr. “I was a bit out of sync today, but I managed to hole a few putts and keep my round going.
“There were a lot of people out there, it was reminiscent of the old days and it was nice playing with Woosie today.”
Mason, the Senior Tour’s record winner with 25 victories, won at Woburn in 2006 and 2007 and is glad to be back in contention on a course where he has triumphed in the past.
“I have a lot of happy memories here, a few of them came flooding back today,” said Mason. “There is no room for error here. You have to be straight and accurate here. It’s in lovely condition but you can’t go off line, if you do, you can find yourself deep in the trees.”
David Gilford, Philip Golding and Brendan McGovern join Mason and Orr in second. Sharing seventh place on one under par are Stephen Dodd, Peter Fowler, Mike Harwood and Tim Thelen. Defending champion André Bossert is one of five players a shot further back on level par.
Scores after round one:
69 I Woosnam (Wal) ,
70 P Golding (Eng) , D Gilford (Eng) , C Mason (Eng) , B McGovern (Irl) , G Orr (Sco) ,
71 M Harwood (Aus) , P Fowler (Aus) , T Thelen (USA) , S Dodd (Wal) ,
72 G Turner (Nzl) , C Dennis (USA) , A Bossert (Sui) , A Oldcorn (Sco) , M Mouland (Wal) ,
73 P Linhart (Esp) , R Drummond (Sco) , G Marks (Eng) , S Luna (Esp) , M Atlevi (Swe) ,
74 C Williams (RSA) , S Tinning (Den) , M Wharton (Eng) , D Smyth (Irl) , P Wesselingh (Eng) , G Emerson (Eng) ,
75 P O’Malley (Aus) , B Conser (USA) , A Murray (Eng) , R Chapman (Eng) , C Rocca (Ita) , C Monasterio (Arg) ,
76 M Farry (Fra) , J Rivero (Esp) , P Walton (Irl) , G Rusnak (USA) , G Brand Jnr (Sco) , C Suneson (Esp) , J Sandelin (Swe) , T Wiratchant (Tha) , E Darcy (Irl) , G Wolstenholme (Eng) , L Zhang (Chn) ,
77 J Remesy (Fra) , J Sallat (Fra) , P Wilson (Eng) , G Brand (Eng) , P Eales (Eng) , B Lane (Eng) , M Martin (Esp) ,
78 M James (Eng) ,
79 M Mackenzie (Eng) , J Kingston (RSA) ,
81 S Brown (Eng)