Date: June 29, 2007

Aussies struggle at French

It was a terrible day for Australia&aposs contingent in Europe as David Bransdon led the charge, at the French Open but he is six-strokes astray of leaders Kyron Sullivan and James Kamte. The French tournament&aposs recent reputation for springing surprises continued on Thursday though, when Welshman Sullivan and South African Kamte, ranked only 421st and 386th in the world, took the first-round lead at Le Golf National. While former winner Philip Walton crashed to an horrendous 89 including a 12 on the 18th – not even the worst score of the day there – the two little-known players returned six under-par 65s. Playing in the last group of the day, there were only three people in a stand designed for 300 when Sullivan completed one of only two bogey-free rounds. The Australians were certainly not exempt from the difficult conditions but David Bransdon handled them best. Bransdon hit two birdies and two bogeys in both the front and back nines to finish the first round with an even-par 71 to be just six-strokes behind the leaders. Peter O&aposMalley was the next best, carding a two-over 73, but Matthew Millar (74), Brett Rumford (74) and Andrew Tampion (74) could all be out of contention after day one. It was a frustrating round for Tampion though, as the Australian hit birdies on the first and second holes, before double bogeying the ninth and losing a further two-strokes on the back nine. However, while Tampion may still be in with the slightest of chances, Wade Ormsby (75), Richard Green (79) and Terry Price (79) are all in danger of missing the cut. Results from round one of the French Open, Alstom: -6: James Kamte 65, Kyron Sullivan 65 -5: Benn Barham 66, Steven Jeppesen 66, Christian L Nilsson 66, Graeme Storm 66 -4: Thomas Levet 67 -3: Thomas Bjorn 68, Markus Brier 68, Raphael Jacquelin 68, Jose-Filipe 68, Miguel Angel Martin 68, Damien Mcgrane 68, Colin Montgomerie 68, Jyoti Randhawa 68, Zane Scotland 68 Also: E: David Bransdton (Australia) 71, Michael Campbell (New Zealand) 71 +2: Peter O Malley (Australia) 73