Waite leads Astbury Hall Classic



Dan Waite leads the Astbury Hall Classic after shooting a four-under-par opening round of 66 as he bids to achieve back-to-back 888poker.com PGA Europro Tour victories having won the Motocaddy Masters two weeks ago.

The Wisley golfer leads Scotland’s Elliot Saltman by one stroke at the Shropshire course, a par 70 for this week’s event.

Irish duo Tim Rice and Cian Curley are tied third, two strokes off the top, after carding first-round 68s. Five golfers are a further shot behind on one under.

Waite began his day well with an eagle three at the second and a birdie on the fourth giving him momentum on which to build. A bogey at the fifth was made up for with a two on the par-three seventh, though a second bogey on the eighth saw his score drop back to two under.

A solid run of five consecutive pars was followed by a birdie at 14 and a bogey on 16, before an impressive eagle three on the 17th took him to the top of the leaderboard with a four-under opening round of 66.

“I played well and was lucky in that I avoided the morning rain but it was still very windy in the afternoon,” said Waite.

“The course is in great condition. It is pretty open and I was trying to land as close to the pins as possible, and then break par by holing the putts.

“It was great to get the first win in at the last event and it really boosts your confidence knowing that you can do it.”

Saltman (Archerfield Links) shot a three-under 67 to finish round one just a stroke behind Waite in second.

Starting on the tenth the Scotsman made eight pars and a birdie at 17 before turning home to hit successive par breakers at the first, second and third.

A bogey four on the fifth denied him a share of the lead but Saltman, who only just missed out on a top-five finish on the 2012 Europro Tour Order of Merit, is well placed going into Thursday’s second round.

The Astbury Hall Classic is a 54-hole strokeplay event with a field of 168 golfers with a cut to the top 50 players plus ties ahead of a final 18 holes on Friday.

A two-hour highlights package of The Astbury Hall Classic will be broadcast on Sky Sports on Wednesday, May 29.

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