Ballantines lead for Dubuisson

by Michelle Fortune , 26 April 2012

France's Victor Dubuisson holds a two-stroke lead over the field after the opening round of the Ballantine's Championship in Icheon, South Korea.


The Frenchman carded a four-under-par 68 to sit two clear of a group of five players, including Paul Casey and Jamie Donaldson , with Paul McGinley and Adam Scott among the 11 players tied for seventh on one-under-par.

Things did not start well for Dubuisson as he bogeyed the par-four tenth but he recovered with three birdies in the next five holes before taking a four at the 16th. Once again he recovered well with successive birdies on the 17th, 18th and 1st.

A double-bogey six could have proved costly at the fourth but back-to-back birdies ensured he signed for a 68.

"Very pleased with playing four under today," Dubuisson told the European Tour website. "My putting was really, really good today and I think it's the only way to achieve good scoring in these conditions.

"On the third hole the wind was from the left, and so on the fourth tee I thought the wind was going to be sort of left to right, but the wind was turning all the time.

"The wind just turned right to left and it went into the water. So I was not really upset after this double bogey because I didn't hit a bad shot.

"I did my best to get back my concentration, and I made two birdies, good putts on five and six, and that was the good turn today."

Casey recovered from bogeys at the ninth and 11th holes to take a two-under 70 and he believes he has every chance of challenging for the title.

"I know if I play the golf I'm capable of, I've got a very good chance to win," he said.

"The way I played today, I need to keep that form going because there's a long way to go."

Donaldson, meanwhile, held the outright lead with back-to-back birdies at the fourth and fifth only to pick up his second bogey of the day at the seventh.

"I played nicely. It is tricky. I made a lot of good up and downs but overall a pretty tough day," he said.

"You've just got to put it in position off the tees and see where it falls. One of the easiest holes was 18, and I bogeyed. You have to play well and put it in position."

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