Date: August 31, 2012
Author: Omnisport

Barr opens with intent

Frenchman Gregory Bourdy stormed to a commanding two-shot lead at the European Masters in Switzerland on Thursday as Australian Scott Barr opened impressively to sit just three strokes behind the leader. Bourdy, though, carded a bogey-free eight-under 63 at Crans-sur-Sierre to take the first-round lead from Swede Fredrik Andersson Hed and England&aposs Oliver Fisher. Bourdy mixed five birdies on a sizzling front nine with three on the back while Andersson Hed produced four birdies in the last five holes to close with a 65 alongside Fisher. Bourdy is chasing his first victory since the 2009 Hong Kong Open. “It was a great day. I don&apost think I&aposve ever played better,” said Bourdy. “This course isn&apost the most difficult, but it&aposs not the easiest either because you have to hit the ball very straight, and I managed to do that today. “I only missed one shot all day, but still managed to save par. My attitude was very good; I was very positive and that&aposs why I finished very well.” Five players – India&aposs Anirban Lahiri, Welshman Rhys Davies, Australian Barr and Englishmen David Howell and Robert Coles – are tied for fourth at five-under. Barr tempered two bogeys with four birdies on his front nine, before coming home without any blemishes, picking up another three birdies on the way. Compatriot Andrew Dodt carded a 67 after three birdies in the last five holes and Marcus Fraser was a stroke back at three-under. Fraser also produced seven birdies in his round, including four in succession on the front nine, but two bogeys and a double-bogey negated some of his efforts. Kieran Pratt, meanwhile, is further back at two-under but produced a strong back nine where he posted four birdies, compensating for a horror opening where he bogeyed the fourth hole and double-bogeyed the seventh. Brett Rumford and Scott Hend both produced even-par 71s on the opening day, while Marcus Both i a further stroke behind after slumping late in his round, finishing with three consecutive bogeys as he signed off on a one-over 72. Matthew Zions (74), Greg Norman (75) and Richard Green (79) are further down the leaderboard. Click for LIVE SCORES