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Tournament host, Paul Lawrie, beat Gary Marks 5&4 to get his week up and running with a strong start. The 1999 and 2012 Ryder Cup player was happy with how he’d played especially as the wind picked up in the afternoon: “I’ve played lovely today, hit some nice shots and holed a couple of putts.

“There were a couple of knock down shots out there today. I was hitting it more of the off the back foot more than the front foot today and keeping it down. I don’t know what the forecast is rest of the week, but that’s right up my street, coming from Aberdeen.

“I played nicely, and I enjoyed it, so let’s see what tomorrow brings.

“You want to get your matches over as quickly as you can – I got it done with four holes to go, which is nice. Hopefully all the matches go like that, and it will be a great week!”

Sweden’s Michael Jonzon and Patrik Sjöland both safely navigated their opening matches, while last week’s winner at the Costa Navarino Legends Tour Trophy, Clark Dennis, was beaten 4&3 by Peter Fowler.

2006 Ryder Cup captain Ian Woosnam was defeated 2-down to Malcolm Mackenzie and Legends Tour rookie David Lynn, making his debut this week, lost out 2&1 to José Coceres, while former Ryder Cup player Peter Baker was beaten by the same score by Frenchman Marc Farry.

However, there were wins for other past Ryder Cup players Niclas Fasth, Phillip Price and Joakim Haeggman who saw off the challenge of Markus Brier 1-up:

“This was the worst match I could possibly have had in Marcus – he’s my best friend out here. Having to play your best friend in the first round is tough, but it is great to be through, you know, and I’m looking forward to the weekend.

“I love this golf course; it fits my game quite well and I’ve done well here before. It’s tough, it’s match play – anything can happen. It’s been very tight and it’s just emotionally tough to beat your friend I don’t know why that is but it’s golf again I suppose.

“When you play 18-hole match play, finishing out a match feels like trying to win a tournament. You win a couple of matches; it’s going to boost you for the rest of the year.”

Hanbury Manor member Simon Khan couldn’t progress past the first round, his match with Santiago Luna went down the last – but it was the Spaniard who came out on top 1-up and he was left with mixed feelings afterwards:

“I’m happy because I’m going to play one more round of match play, but I’m a bit sad because this is a strange tournament for us. Normally I’ll play against the golf course but to play against a friend is more difficult.

“It’s nice to be on a golf course like this one in great condition.

“The most important thing is to be consistent in fairways, greens and then you have a few chances for birdie.”

Scott Hend, Robert Coles, Adilson da Silva and James Kingston were also opening day winners in Hertfordshire, as were Angel Cabrera, Jeev Milkha Singh, Keith Horne, Bradley Dredge, Jarmo Sandelin and Mikael Lundberg.

The victorious players all head into Friday’s second round with the field now down to 32.
The pick of the matches sees James Kingston face Robert Coles, Paul Lawrie take on Jarmo Sandelin, Angel Cabrera plays Andrew Marshall and Adilson da Silva tackles Scott Hend.

Tickets are available online for Thursday to Sunday at Hanbury Manor for the rest of this Paul Lawrie Match Play presented by Petsure. Go to www.legendstour.com/tickets to buy now to pay less than the gate entry price.

The tournament is dog-friendly with extra attractions for dogs, including free puppycino’s and an activity zone. Plenty were enjoying the walk and a bit of the golf too on day one and the crowd & canines were entertained by the Legends Tour players.

 

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