David Horsey goes on birdie blitz for Saudi International lead

Shane Lowry, Graeme McDowell and Cormac Sharvin shot level par opening rounds

David Horsey  during day one of the Saudi International. Photograph: Getty Images

David Horsey during day one of the Saudi International. Photograph: Getty Images

 

England’s David Horsey flirted with a possible sub-60 opening round in the Saudi International tournament at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club, but could only manage a par on the closing Par 5 and had to settle for a career-best nine-under-par 61 to claim a one stroke lead over Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher.

It proved to be a tough day for scoring for the quartet of Irish players in the field, with Shane Lowry, defending champion Graeme McDowell and Cormac Sharvin all recording level par 70s, while Paul Dunne, playing on a sponsor’s invitation, was cruising along nicely until he reached the Par 4 13th where he ran up quadruple bogey eight in eventually signing for a 73.

Horsey, a four-time winner on the European Tour, but without a win since the 2015 Made in Denmark, had missed both cuts in Abu Dhabi and Dubai on the Middle East Swing, and attributed his turnaround in form to a pre-tournament phone call to a friend at home who made a technical suggestion about his body movement on the swing. “It’s a shock, I’ve been actually playing rubbish the last couple of weeks... [after the call] I thought, I can’t get any worse, so I may as well try it,” said Horsey.

Collated first round scores and totals (UK unless stated, Par 70):

61 David Horsey

62 Stephen Gallacher

64 Bernd Wiesberger (Aut)

65 Bryson DeChambeau (USA), Marcus Kinhult (Swe), Thomas Pieters (Bel), Ryan Fox (Nzl), Haotong Li (Chn), Calum Hill

66 Laurie Canter, George Coetzee (Rsa), Andy Sullivan, Mikko Korhonen (Fin), Jhonattan Vegas (Ven), Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn), Fabrizio Zanotti (Pry)

67 Dustin Johnson (USA), Tyrrell Hatton, Victor Perez (Fra), Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Martin Kaymer (Ger), Danny Willett, Antoine Rozner (Fra), Kurt Kitayama (USA), Joost Luiten (Ned), Takumi Kanaya (Jpn), Thomas Detry (Bel), Jeff Winther (Den), James Morrison

68 Viktor Hovland (Nor), Tommy Fleetwood, Tony Finau (USA), Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa), Justin Rose, Ross McGowan, Adrian Otaegui (Spa), Steven Brown, Guido Migliozzi (Ita), Justin Harding (Rsa), Ashun Wu (Chn), Phil Mickelson (USA), Matthias Schwab (Aut), Oliver Wilson, Chris Paisley, Sean Crocker (USA), Justin Walters (Rsa), Matthieu Pavon (Fra)

69 Patrick Reed (USA), Paul Casey, Kevin Na (USA), Aaron Rai, Rafael Cabrera (Spa), Jorge Campillo (Spa), Pablo Larrazabal (Spa), John Catlin (USA), Romain Langasque (Fra), Min-Woo Lee (Aus), Shubhankar Sharma (Ind), Shergo Al Kurdi (Jor), Michael Lorenzo-Vera (Fra), Richard Sterne (Rsa), Adria Arnaus (Spa), Kalle Samooja (Fin), Julian Suri (USA), Ross Fisher, Jazz Janewattananond (Tha), Grant Forrest, Soeren Kjeldsen (Den), Dean Burmester (Rsa), Joel Stalter (Fra)

70 Jason Kokrak (USA), Shane Lowry (Irl), Sergio Garcia (Spa), Brandon Stone (Rsa), Joachim B. Hansen (Den), Graeme McDowell (Irl), Lucas Herbert (Aus), Rasmus Hoejgaard (Den), David Law, David Lipsky (USA), Kristoffer Broberg (Swe), Harry Hall, Cormac Sharvin (Irl), Matthew Southgate, Andrew Johnston, David Drysdale, Ashley Chesters, Haydn Porteous (Rsa), Julien Guerrier (Fra), Garrick Higgo (Rsa), Francesco Laporta (Ita)

71 Abraham Ancer (Mex), Wilco Nienaber (Rsa), Robert MacIntyre, Scott Hend (Aus), Paul Waring, Alexander Levy (Fra), Wade Ormsby (Aus), Othman Almulla (Sau), Benjamin Hebert (Fra), Jordan Smith, Ignacio Elvira (Spa), Gavin Green (Mal), Alvaro Quiros (Spa), Maximilian Kieffer (Ger), Lorenzo Gagli (Ita), Victor Dubuisson (Fra), David Howell

72 Henrik Stenson (Swe), Renato Paratore (Ita), Alexander Bjoerk (Swe), Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa), Eduard Rousaud (Spa), Zander Lombard (Rsa), Oliver Fisher, Jamie Donaldson

73 Matt Wallace, Chris Wood, Sami Valimaki (Fin), Sebastian Soederberg (Swe), Richard McEvoy, Paul Dunne (Irl), Richie Ramsay, Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha), Edoardo Molinari (Ita), Tapio Pulkkanen (Fin)

74 Marc Warren, Andrea Pavan (Ita), Ernie Els (Rsa), Thomas Bjorn (Den), Jayden Schaper (Rsa), Scott Jamieson

75 Jason Scrivener (Aus), Nino Bertasio (Ita)

76 Raphael Jacquelin (Fra)

77 Faisal Alsalhab (Sau)

80 Saud Al Sharif (Sau)

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.