Date: June 14, 2013
Author: Omnisport

Gaunt shares fourth in Austria

Australia&aposs Daniel Gaunt is in a share of fourth place behind South African Tjaart van der Walt after the opening round of the Najeti Open. Van der Walt carded five birdies and dropped just one shot amid strong winds at the Aa Saint Omer Golf club in Lumbres, France to shoot an impressive four-under-par 67, while home favourite Victor Riu occupies second place on three under. Van der Walt, who started his round on the 10th hole, made seven consecutive pars before back-to-back birdies at 17 and 18 put him on two under as he reached the turn. Another birdie at the second was followed by a bogey on the third, but he picked up two shots in the final four holes to secure his lead. “I managed the ball really well today,” Van der Walt said. “I have been doing that well the last few weeks but the putting hasn&apost been great. I holed a few putts today which was good. “I made a nice one on 17, from about 30 feet and downhill which broke about six feet, and another at 18 too but credit to the greenkeepers because they slowed the greens down a little and if they didn&apost do that there would be putts going off the green in that wind.” Frenchman Riu, who scored 68, was level par at the turn, but dropped a shot at the fourth (his 13th) to lie on one over. But birdies at seven and eight, followed by an eagle on the ninth, saw him finish strongly to take second position outright. England&aposs Daniel Brooks sits third on two-under, but had to work hard to recover his round after triple-bogeying at the 14th. That meant he was four over after just five holes, but two birdies and two eagles saw him come back well to shoot a two-under-par 69. Gaunt and Frenchman Olivier Rozner are tied for fourth on one under, while Australian veteran is just four shots off the pace after a 71. Fellow Australian Matthew Zions managed a two over 73, while compatriot Scott Arnold mustered a 74.