The first day of the MCB Tour Championship did not disappoint, with many of the big names rising to the top of the leader board to set the tone for an exciting weekend of golf.
With Mother Nature orchestrating a variety of conditions, which included intermittent downpours, periods of strong wind but mostly sunny and favourable for golf, scoring seemed as equally unpredictable.
Last year’s winner Paul Wesselingh, looking as calm and collected as ever, had four birdies in his round and signed for a respectable 69.
South Africa’s David Frost, having no bogeys on the card walked away with a 69. The man destined to lift the John Jacobs Trophy at the end of the tournament and season, Colin Montgomerie, found the water on the 18 to make only his second bogey of the day, ending with a one-under-par 71.
The story of the day, and week, however, belonged to England’s Barry Lane. Arriving a week early he was bid-ridden with flu while also having an issue with his back only managed to play his first round of golf in Wednesday’s Pro-Am. Spectators would never have guessed it as his golf, and putting, in particular, were excellent. Starting with a bogey, he showed true grit and put a solid round together, which included three bogeys and seven birdies that left him atop the leader board with a round of 68. His long approach to the par-five 18th surely being the shot of the day left him a reasonable chance for eagle, which just slid by the hole.
Saturday being the penultimate day of the MCB Tour Championship means players will be jockeying for position prior to the final round. Heavy rains through the night, and into the early hours of the morning, mean a wet course can be expected and players will certainly appreciate the lift, clean and place rule. The weather may well have the final say in today’s round, where patience will be the order of the day.