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It was a tricky day of scoring in the rolling Staffordshire countryside with only 18 players breaking par as the course played long and soft with a switching breeze keeping the field on their toes. Horne, Pampling and Golding lead an international leaderboard at -4.

This year’s Q School winner Keith Horne made a fast start with four birdies on the front nine to turn in 32 strokes. The South African got to -5 with another red number at 12 but his only bogey of the day on 14 gave him a 68.


“I really played well today, and I was very happy with how I hit the ball,” said Keith Horne, who lost in a play-off at the Riegler and Partner Legends in May. “I drove the ball very well. From the middle of the fairway, it’s a lot easier golf course. I’m very happy with my round.

“Playing with Alex Cejka and Colin Montgomerie helped to up my game, and it’s an honour to play with them. It made me concentrate a lot more on the opening holes, which generally I can be a bit careless on. It certainly helped today.”

Australia’s Rod Pampling made the dream start with four birdies in his first five holes. He added a bogey on 7 and another birdie at 11 for his -4. Five-time Legends Tour winner Phillip Golding makes up the trio at the top after a slow start. He +2 after five holes but he stormed back with six birdies, including a rare two at the signature 17th hole.

The Englishman was understandably delighted with his round: “This isn’t an easy course to play – it’s tricky, it’s difficult and the wind was gusting around today, so I’d have taken four under before I went out, without doubt, so I’m really pleased.

“It was a good recovery after I was two over. I made a couple of putts, which is I always useful. I played like a bit of a numpty in the first round at Royal Porthcawl and shot 69 in the second round to miss the cut by one, so I’ve taken that attitude from the tough conditions in the second round there through to today.”

Four-time major winner Ernie Els, Irish Legends winner Peter Baker and India’s Jeev Milkha Singh are a shot off the lead at -3, with Thongchai Jaidee and Jason Norris on -2.

Defending champion and last week’s Senior Open winner Alex Cejka had five birdies and four bogeys in his opening 71. He admitted he hadn’t had much sleep since winning his third senior major earlier in the week, so he will be pleased to have fought back from +2 through eight holes.

Tournament host Darren Clarke, eight-time DP World Tour number one Colin Montgomerie and three-time major winner Vijay Singh are also in a tie for 9th at -1. American John Daly shot a 75 to lie in tied-45th.

You can watch highlights of round one on Sky Sports Golf at 11pm tonight (Thursday 3rd August) and 10am and 11.30am tomorrow (Friday 4th August).

The show will also be available on the Legends Tour YouTube channel, and there will be same-day highlights for the second and final rounds on Friday and Saturday evening.


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