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It was a stunning day in the Swiss mountains for round one of the 25th Swiss Seniors Open, and the field took advantage of the friendly conditions with 31 players going under par and registering rounds in the 60s.
The leader Gögele didn’t get off to the ideal start with a bogey at the opening hole, but he bounced straight back at the 2nd and added further red numbers at 4, 6 and 8, before a second dropped shot of the day on 9 had him -2 at the turn.
Again, he bounced back with a birdie at the very next hole and he continued his ascent with birdies at 11, 13 and 15. The highlight of his round was a brilliant eagle at the par-5 16th. He left a birdie putt in the jaws on 18, but it’s a fantastic start for a man who hasn’t had his best form so far this season.
“I’m very pleased,” he said. “It hasn’t been the greatest year for me so far. I’ve only played a couple of tournaments and struggled in the first one. My game got a little better in Ireland, so I was very pleased about that. I started with a bogey today, and that’s not what you’re looking for, but then I found my game and played really nicely and was very, very, very happy.
“I was wedging very well with all the shots like 100 metres and in. I hit it pretty close, putted well and got to the par-5s alright. That made the score. When you hit 6-iron in and eagle 16 that’s very helpful. I also had a bit of luck that you need to shoot a score like that. Things went well and I kept hitting good shots and making good putts, and a lot of them went in.”
He’s two shots ahead of former Ryder Cup player Jarmo Sandelin, who recovered brilliantly from a double bogey at the 1st with 8 red numbers, and a back 9 of just 30 strokes, to shoot a 66. The Swede finished 53rd in Irish Legends in his only other start this season.
Peter Baker, the runaway winner of that tournament at Seapoint Golf Links, shares 3rd place with three-time Legends Tour winner David Shacklady and Q School graduates Lionel Alexandre and Gustavo Acosta on -5. Order of Merit number one Adilson Da Silva is one of six players in tied-7th, as he made five birdies and one bogey in a 66.