Tour News

Form Reversal for Australasians in Denmark

Brett Rumford is chasing his 7th European Tour victory. (Photo: Henry Peters)
The opening round of the European Tour's Made in Denmark event has seen a massive 70 players record rounds under par headed by the Englishman Jonathan Thomson whose round of 64 has him ahead by two over a large group at 6 under 66 including West Australian Brett Rumford and New Zealand’s Josh Geary.

Geary appeared as if he might establish the first round lead when he raced to 8 under through 12 holes but the momentum slowed when he bogeyed the 13th and added another at the 18th.

It was however an impressive round and quite a turnaround for the European Tour rookie who has missed five of his last six cuts .

Rumford, too, has had his struggles of late missing seven of his last ten cuts with no finish better than 41st in that period so this too was encouraging improvement for the man who first played his first full season in Europe in 2001.

Rumford was also fast out of the blocks today with an eagle and two birdies in his first five holes and improved his score by two over the closing nine holes.

South Australian Jason Norris has also made an encouraging start to be at 4 under and in a share of 17th place, he too beginning his round well with a birdie at his second hole and an eagle at the 3rd.

Since his breakthrough win in Fiji last year Norris has battled at this higher level but with just a few events remaining of the 2018 season this might be the reversal he needs to get things headed in the right direction.

Nick Cullen has opened with a 2 under par 70, while Adam Bland and Jason Scrivener are the other Australians under par with rounds of 71.

The leader Thomson shrugged off his poor early season form to storm into the first round lead at the Made in Denmark, where Ryder Cup hopefuls Thorbjørn Olesen, Matt Fitzpatrick and Eddie Pepperell endured mixed fortunes at this, the final qualifying event to gain an automatic place in Thomas Bjørn’s European Team to face the USA in Paris in four weeks’ time.

“It’s fantastic to get off to a great start for a change,” said Thomson. "I have been playing some great golf recently but not scoring, so to get off to a low scoring start today was great. This is my first Made in Denmark. This course is a great layout and a beautiful setting.

“It would be great for me to have a positive result this week. I had a terrible start to the season and really positive result would give me a huge confidence boost going into the rest of the season.”

While Thomson was forging his way to the top of the leaderboard, the Ryder Cup subplot at the Made in Denmark began to develop in earnest.

Olesen made a fast start in his bid to retain the eighth and final automatic qualifying spot to Bjørn’s team. The 28 year old Dane needs to finish in a tie for seventh place with one other player or better to guarantee a Ryder Cup debut.

One under through three holes, Olesen looked to be in control but lost momentum and dropped four strokes before two birdies in his last three holes saved the round and saw the Dane finish on one over par.

The two men who can pass Olesen to qualify for the Ryder Cup Team – the English duo of Matt Fitzpatrick and Eddie Pepperel – both need to win this week. Pepperel, playing with Bjørn, matched the Ryder Cup Captain’s two under 70; while Fitzpatrick had to settle for a level par 72.




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