Matt Wallace and Bob Macintyre one shot off lead in Denmark
Defending champion Matt Wallace is only one shot off the lead after the first round of the Made In Denmark, despite feeling “jaded” by his recent exploits.
Wallace finished second in the British Masters a fortnight ago and within a few hours was on his way to New York for the US PGA Championship at Bethpage, where he finished in a tie for third behind Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson.
The 29-year-old Londoner had no time to celebrate his best result in a major championship as he flew straight to Denmark to defend the third European Tour title he won in 2018, but showed no ill effects with an opening 67 at Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort, where Scotland’s Bob MacIntyre, who finished runner-up at the British Masters alongside the Englishman, matched his four-under-par score.
“Three different ways of playing but all three we’ve had a lot of wind so getting out there relatively early was nice. To get four birdies on my front nine to start the tournament was good,” said Wallace said.
“I’m a little bit jaded so might take this afternoon off but we’re in good shape.”
Less than four years ago Wallace was finishing fifth in a tournament on the Alps Tour to climb to 1,672 in the world rankings, but the following year won six times on the same circuit and has recorded four European Tour victories in the last two seasons.
His performance at Bethpage lifted him to a career-high 25th in the world rankings and Wallace added: “It’s going in the right direction. I’m working hard for it, it’s not like it’s just come randomly.
“There’s more bits that I want to work on, there’s bits I want to improve at. There’s a long way to go for the rest of the year and I haven’t won yet so it’s important to me to try to get that and try to do that this week.”
Five players shared the lead on five under par, the English trio of Paul Waring, Matthew Southgate and Tom Murray, Spain’s Alejandro Canizares and Italy’s Edoardo Molinari all carding rounds of 66.
Meanwhile, Scotland’s Paul Lawrie, has confirmed he will play the Sinclair Invitational on the Staysure Seniors Tour, at Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel and Country Club in Hertfordshire from 30 August to 1 September.
Lawrie, who turned 50 this year, said “Viewing from afar, it’s a tournament which has been a great success over the last few years and I’m looking forward to being a part of it”.
England’s Meghan MacLaren carded a three-under-par 68 to share the lead with 18-year-old French amateur Pauline Roussin Bouchard after the first round of the Jabra Ladies Open.
MacLaren and Bouchard both recorded five birdies and two bogeys at Evian Golf Resort to finish a shot ahead of Felicity Johnson, Annabel Dimmock, Manon De Roey, Filippa Moork and Marita Engzelius.
“I’m pretty happy because I didn’t start the day too well so to come back strongly and be up near the top of the leaderboard is pretty pleasing,” MacLaren said.
MacLaren, who successfully defended her Women’s NSW Open title earlier this season, is chasing a Solheim Cup place but added: “I think the last few weeks I’ve been putting a bit more pressure on myself so this week I’m just relaxing and enjoying it and my golf seems to have improved because of that.”