David Drysdale off to good start in Mauritius with 69

David Drysdale plays his second shot into the fourth green during the first round of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open. Picture: Warren Little/Getty
David Drysdale plays his second shot into the fourth green during the first round of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open. Picture: Warren Little/Getty
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David Drysdale maintained his promising start to the 2019 European Tour season by carding his fifth successive score in the 60s.

Backing up four sub-par efforts that earned him fifth spot in the Hong Kong Open last weekend, the 43-year-old from Cockburnspath opened with a 69 in the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open at Anahita.

The three-under-par effort left Drysdale sitting just outside the top 20 as Frenchman Victor Perez and India’s S. Chikkarangappa shot matching 64s to set a hot pace on the Ernie Els-designed course.

Starting his round at the tenth, Drysdale opened with a bogey before picking up shots at the 14th, 15th and 18th. 
Coming home, he had carded one birdie and one bogey before finishing with a birdie to sit alongside Els.

Bidding to build on making the cut in Hong Kong in his first event as a new European Tour card holder, Grant Forrest
also closed with a birdie – in his case at the 18th – as the 25-year-old from North Berwick carded a 70.

Sitting alongside him in a share of 33rd is South Africa-based Scot Doug McGuigan, who undid some of his earlier work, which included an eagle and four birdies by finishing bogey-bogey.

Liam Johnston, the fourth Scot in the field, had to settle for a 73, which left him sitting joint 100th and facing a fight 
to make it through to the weekend.

Also on the European Tour, Craig Ross fared best of a five-strong Scottish contingent in the Australian PGA Championship. On his pro debut on the circuit, the 24-year-old Glaswegian fired a one-under 71 to sit in a share of 48th spot.

As host club duo Jake McLeod and Matt Jager shot 66s to share the lead at RACV Royal Pines Resort, Duncan Stewart signed for a 73, Bob MacIntyre had a 74 while Ewen Ferguson and Connor Syme carded 76 and 77 respectively.

On the Staysure Tour, Gary Orr is seven shots off the lead, held by Argentina’s Rafael Gomez, after the Scot opened with a one-under 71 in the Costa Blanca Benidorm Senior Masters. Gordon Brand Jnr (72) and Andrew Oldcorn (73) were also left trailing in Gomez’s wake.

l AIG, the American financial giant, is making its first foray into professional golf as the new backer of the Women’s British Open. The first staging of the AIG Women’s British Open as part of a five-year deal will take place at Woburn next summer before the event is held for the first time at 
Royal Troon in 2020.

“AIG’s support will ensure it continues to be a truly world-class sporting event,” said R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers.