Zie hier het volledige verslag van de European Challenge Tour .
Englishman Dave Coupland stormed into the first round lead at the Belgian Challenge Open courtesy of a stunning eight under par opening round of 63 at the idyllic Cleydael Golf and Country Club, close to Antwerp.
The 28 year old, playing his rookie season on the European Challenge Tour, carded six consecutive birdies in a flawless round which counts as the best of his career on Europe’s top developmental tour.
Coupland came close to a first Challenge Tour title at the Turkish Airlines Challenge last month, losing out to his close friend and fellow former EuroPro Tour player, Oliver Farr of Wales.
The man from Boston in Lincolnshire, who currently lies in 23rd position in the Challenge Tour Rankings, was delighted with his start at the picturesque Belgian venue, which boasts a 14th Century castle as a clubhouse.
“I holed a few good putts today, my putter was on fire,” said Coupland, who teed off at the tenth hole. “I am very pleased with the way I controlled the ball. I knew this golf course would suit my game as I am not the longest hitter but I hit it straight. I felt very comfortable.
“I had a very steady seven holes from the start, but then just started to hole all my putts for those six birdies in a row. It was great to keep that momentum going for so long.”
Germany’s Florian Fritsch was one shot further back on seven under par after an opening 64 and the 28 year old also avoided a single bogey over the tricky lay-out in the suburban town of Aartselaar.
“The key this morning was the putting,” said the Munich-born player, who has a fear of flying which often prevents him from travelling to far-reaching tournaments. “You cannot hole so many birdies without great putting.
“I saved three pars too, including one sand save. But even when I missed the greens, they were not big misses.
“I could not play during practice round this week because my clubs got stolen Sunday night in Antwerp,” he continued. “I was with Damian Ulrich and we left our car in a public parking but with cover on the golf clubs. They took my bag and Damian’s woods.
“My wife arrived yesterday with my back up clubs. I guess I have good memories with these clubs now!”
Spain’s Jordi Garcia Del Moral and Mexican Rodolfo Cazaubon shared third place on six under par, while there were nine players on five under par including local favourite Hugues Joannes, already a runner-up on the Challenge Tour this season, and his Belgian compatriot, amateur Kevin Hesbois.