Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Lawrie leads in Morocco

Peter Lawrie

Ireland's Peter Lawrie holds a three-stroke lead at the end of the first round of the Trophee Hassan II in Agadir after a superb eight-under-par 64 at the Golf Du Palais Royal.

With the field split between that course and the Golf De L'Ocean for the first two rounds, Lawrie leads from defending champion Rhys Davies of Wales, England's John Bickerton and India's Shiv Kapur, who are tied for second.

Lawrie, whose only previous European Tour win came in Spain three years ago, said: "I got off to a great start with an eagle at the 10th hole. After that I played lovely, gave myself lots of chances and made one stupid bogey."

He added: "I think we got very lucky with the draw to be honest. The wind calmed down on the back nine, and the front nine - the windier nine - was when the wind was dying down a bit."

Bickerton finished strongly with six birdies to tie for second in high temperatures and a difficult wind.

Bickerton admitted: "It was a very tough day in that respect, especially when you look at the length of the rounds we were playing."

Davies, who is yet to record a top 20 place so far this season, said: "I played well. I hit the ball a lot better than I have been lately and I was able to put the ball in the right position on the greens."

England's David Horsey and Scotland's Lloyd Saltman are among a group of seven players tied for fifth place on four under, while Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke is a further two shots back.

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