Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Birdie Charge Propels Storm Up Leaderboard

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Birdie Charge Propels Storm Up Leaderboard

Article excerpt

Byline: Tim Taylor Golf Writer

GRAEME Storm went on an amazing birdie spree in the Algarve yesterday to become one of seven players leading after the first round of the Portugal Masters.

This continues a happy week for Rockliffe Hall, where Storm is attached, following lavish praise which greeted their staging of the English Senior Open.

The former French Open champion, British Amateur title holder and Walker Cup winner looked set for a routine day at the office when he birdied the ninth hole at the Oceanico Victoria course.

Following a bogey at five, that left the 35-year-old from Hartlepool level par for the front nine. But it was the start of five birdies in a row and in all Storm signed for six birdies on the back nine, coming home in 30 and needing only 27 putts for the round.

He starts today on six-under 65, saying: "Everything seemed to go particularly well."

Storm's favourite memory of the round was his closing birdie at the 463-yard 18th, where a drive and sixiron left him with a ten-foot putt successfully negotiated.

Meanwhile Mickley Square's Chris Paisley is hoping for a burst of topnotch form soon. The Race to Dubai ends after after next week's Perth International with Paisley estimating he needs somewhere around a top ten finish from one of the two tournaments to keep his card.

But both Paisley and Penrith's Gary Lockerbie are flirting with the cut. Paisley is tied 69th on par 71, with Lockerbie tied 103rd two shots further back on a day 68 players broke par.

The other six players sharing the lead with Storm are Seve Trophy team-mates Jamie Donaldson and David Lynn, Ireland's Simon Thornton, Spain's Alvaro Quiros, Chile's Felipe Aguilar and German Max Kieffer.

Two more Seve Trophy players, England's Chris Wood and Scotland's Scott Jamieson, were among a ninestrong group one off the lead, while a relaxed approach to the pressure of trying to keep his card paid off for Scotland's Chris Doak with an opening 67. …

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