Date: May 03, 2013
Author: Omnisport

Derksen takes early lead in China

Dutchman Robert-Jan Derksen holds a two-shot lead after the first round of the Volvo China Open in Tianjin. Derksen, looking to end a drought that has seen him fail to finish inside the top 10 for more than two years at a European Tour event, carded eight birdies and two bogeys in a six-under par 66 on Thursday. The 39-year-old struggled early and was one-over par after five holes. But he fought back in style to grab three birdies to reach the turn in two under. “I made a lot of birdies, and I&aposve ended the day in a really good position,” he said. “The wind was difficult to judge, even on the greens. But I started making a few putts and my confidence lifted.” Close behind Derksen are three of the European Tour&aposs last five winners. Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Raphael Jacquelin and last week&aposs Ballantine&aposs Champion, Australian Brett Rumford, all carded rounds of 68. Rumford&aposs bogey-free round featured birdies from 30 and 40 feet on the 10th and 11th, as well as a 20-foot effort on the 15th. “I didn&apost get much sleep on Sunday night and then I took Monday and Tuesday to recover,” said Perth-born Rumford. “Mentally I feel nice and fresh, and obviously it was a bit of a mental grind out there with the wind. “You had to be really patient, so it was a good test for the first round back after my victory last week. It&aposs just a matter of &aposkeep doing what you&aposre doing&apos.” Six players are tied for fifth place, three shots behind Derksen. Australia&aposs Aaron Townsend and Terry Pilkadaris, England&aposs Lee Slattery, Paul Lawry from Scotland, Finland&aposs Mikko Ilonen and Sang-hyun Park (Korea) all had rounds of 69.