David Drysdale off to solid start in Catalunya Championship on course he 'loves'

A combination of feeling the benefit of a four-week break and playing on a course he “loves” helped bring out the best in David Drysdale in the first round of the Catalunya Championship.

The 47-year-old opened with three straight birdies on the Stadium Course at PGA Catalunya in Girona to set up a three-under-par 69, which left him just three shots off the lead as South African duo Oliver Bekker and Darren Fichardt joined and Dane Jeff Winther in setting the pace.

“It was a nice start, hitting it close at both the first and second holes and then I got up and down at the par-5 third from just short of the green, so the game at that point was pretty good,” said Drysdale.

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“Actually, the whole game felt pretty good. It did get a little bit tougher for the last hour of my round with the breeze getting up and it also got a little bit cooler.”

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Unlike some of his younger rivals in the field, the Cockburnspath man is familiar with this week’s venue.

“It’s a golf course I’ve always liked. In fact, I love it,” he declared. “I was here first at the Q School in 2007, I think. We’ve also had a couple of Spanish Open’s here. I was back here in 2014 and in either 2009 or ’10.

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"I thoroughly enjoy playing the course, including the layout and the condition of it. So I was looking forward to coming here this week.”

Drysdale, who is still searching for that elusive first win after now making more than 550 appearances on the main tour, skipped the opening leg of a Spanish double-header in Tarragona last week.

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David Drysdale plays his second shot on the seventh hole during the first round of the Catalunya Championship on the Stadium Course at PGA Catalunya in Girona. Picture: Octavio Passos/Getty Images.

“No,” he replied to being asked if his promising start had been the result of working on something new since his last outing in the Qatar Masters at the end of March. “I’ve just had four weeks off.

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“I didn’t do a thing for three weeks and got back into last week at home, so it was nice to have a break without picking up a golf club and not even think about golf, which was pretty cool.”

Grant Forrest, who came home in four-under for a 70, was next best among nine Scots while Qatar Masters winner Ewen Ferguson signed for a 71, one better than David Law and two less than Richie Ramsay.

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