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Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez leading the charge at Turkish Airlines Open

By Phil Casey

Two weeks after struggling to break 90, Miguel Angel Jimenez carded a flawless 63 to claim the lead after the first round of the £4.5million Turkish Airlines Open.

Jimenez carded a final round of 88 in the first event of the Final Series, the BMW Masters, in Shanghai and also struggled in the following week's HSBC Champions event to be a total of 33 over par for his last eight rounds.

But the oldest winner in European Tour history - he will celebrate his 51st birthday in January - bounced back brilliantly in Antalya by holing his second shot to the opening hole for an eagle and adding seven birdies to lead Ian Poulter by a shot at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal.

"It's a good start. It's nice making a low score, it's been a while," said Jimenez, who holed out from 105 yards on the 10th.

"It's special because I've been struggling a little bit the last few months and (when) you shoot under par, you feel good.

"I like the golf course with the trees on it.

"It feels nice and you have everything, you have some long holes, you have some short holes and you have a mix. I feel comfortable on this golf course."

Meanwhile, Michael Hoey carded a hugely disappointing opening round of 10-over-par 82.

The Belfast player posted two birdies, four bogeys and four double bogeys in his first 18 holes and lies joint bottom of the field in joint 77th.

Darren Clarke is tied 64th on three over following a round of 75.

The Dungannon man recorded two birdies and five bogeys at Antalya.

Belfast Telegraph

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