Record day for Jacquelin

 

Golf: Fanny Chabre's debut as a caddie appears to have had an inspirational effect on her boyfriend, Raphael Jacquelin, who shot a 62 yesterday to lead the Nordic Open here. Jacquelin, who teed the tournament off, set a course record at the Simon's Club and could well lead all week after piling up eight birdies and an eagle.

Of his choice of caddie he explained: "My usual caddie had a few problems to sort out in Paris, so I used his twin brother last week in Malmo but the feeling was not very good and Fanny said she would like to try the job. It was good fun."

Jacquelin added: "It's not easy the first time and I think she did pretty good. She has the yardage books and she wants to pace everything. She follows me around every week and has a handicap herself of about 20, so she knows a bit about the game.

"She helps with reading the greens and I ask her to confirm things."

Jacquelin, who also shot 62 in last year's Italian Open, produced three birdies going to the turn in 32, then squeezed four more plus an eagle into five holes as he covered the back nine in 30.

European golf's first 59 was a distinct possibility when he weighed up a five-yarder at the 16th, with two par-fives to follow. However, he left it an inch short, then had to settle for a par five at the 17th after tangling with a bunker bank.

England's Philip Archer, whose best Tour finish was in last week's Scandinavian Masters in Malmo, and Raymond Russell, who clocked up six birdies, and Spain's Miguel Jimenez, finished three behind on 65.

Thomas Bjorn, who spent two and a half hours with the Tour physio because of a stiff neck, finished with four birdies for a 67. The Danish home favourite, urged on by a huge crowd in the inaugural event at the venue, began in fine style, moving to four-under after eight holes.

But he then made three bogeys in five holes before rallying to pick up four shots in the last four.

"I've been struggling with my neck and it was difficult to get out of bed this morning," said Bjorn. "This was not the week for it to happen. It then gets to you after you've got off to a good start, with the crowd wanting you to do well.

"But when I birdied the 15th I told myself I could still build a good score with two more par-fives to come and I was fortunate to birdie the last four holes."

Scotland's Colin Montgomerie, heading out with Bjorn for next week's US PGA Championship, had to settle for 70 and declared: "I missed a lot of putts and it's been that way all year but the hand I hurt at the Open was fine."

There was an encouraging start for Ireland's Peter Lawrie and Gary Murphy, who both shot three-under-par 69s. Ronan Rafferty and Damien McGrane were next best of the five-strong Irish contingent competing in the Danish capital, each going round in one-under 71. Graeme McDowell was one over after a 73.

Guardian Service