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Marc Warren leads Johnnie Walker Championship after shooting 8-under 65

Marc Warren leads Johnnie Walker Championship after shooting 8-under 65

Marc Warren made eight birdies for an 8-under 65 Thursday to take the lead in the first round of the Johnnie Walker Championship.
Last year's European Tour rookie of the year leads Nicolas Colsaerts by a stroke on the 7,320-yard Centenary Course at Gleneagles. The Belgian tied for second two years ago but lost his playing card last year.
Colin Montgomerie opened with a 4-under 69, and defending champion Paul Casey shot a 71, two better than Darren Clarke (73).
Warren won last year's Scandinavian Masters but has struggled this year, missing nine cuts in his last 11 events. He's also been bothered by a neck problem for three months.
"I noticed a couple things in Sweden (two weeks ago) I didn't like in my swing," Warren said. "I spoke to (coach Bob Torrance) and we changed it, then we changed a couple more things. It seems to be working."
His only scare came on his 17th hole of day, the course's eighth, where he drove into the deep rough. But he escaped and salvaged a par.
The 24-year-old Colsaerts eagled the par-4 eighth after driving the green, 385 yards away. He also eagled the long 16th.
"It's been seven years of ups and downs. People know I can do extraordinary things and bad things, making it look simple or very difficult," Colsaerts said.
Montgomerie missed a 6-foot par putt at 17.
"I needed to be 4 under at least. Now I want to get to 10 under for the weekend," the Scotsman said. "The greens were a bit bumpy this afternoon but they should be better in the morning."
Casey said he failed to hole makeable putts and felt rusty after two weeks off.
"I know this course very well and I certainly haven't played my way out of it," he said.
Jeev Milka Singh (67) held a share of third place after birdies at the last three holes.
"I played really solid and holed a lot of putts today," the Indian said. "I normally missed the hole on the wrong side of the par-5s and still made the long putts."
Miles Tunnicliff also shot a 67.
Thomas Levet aced his opening hole, hitting a 5-iron at the 208-yard 10th. Paul Lawrie is the only other player on the tour to ace an opening hole, doing so on the same hole in 2000 when the tournament was called the Scottish PGA Championship.


Updated : 2021-08-05 09:30 GMT+08:00