Adri Arnaus was the star of the show on a weather-affected opening day of the Prague Golf Challenge at Prague City Golf, carding a nine under par 63 to hold a two-shot advantage at the top of the leaderboard.
The young Spaniard sits two shots clear of Joel Girrbach, who is his nearest challenger on seven under par, and three ahead of a group of players on six under par, including English duo Dan Brown and Hugo Dobson, as the morning groups set the standard on the first day in the Czech capital.
With little wind and searing heat, the early groups could smell the potential of low scores, but thunder and lightning put a temporary stop to proceedings at 4.48pm local time as scoring became considerably tougher.
But the day belonged to Arnaus, who carded a trio of birdies to end his round and set a target of nine under par.
He said: “Obviously I’m really pleased with how it went. I felt really confident going into the round and I enjoyed every second of it. I’m happy I could take advantage of many of the opportunities.
“I think I played very well from tee to green. I didn’t really put myself into trouble so that allowed me to be in scoring positions every time. I rolled some putts in and it was fun.
“It’s very weird to be aiming for the pin but if you’re hitting one or two to the right or left of the pin, you should be just fine. These greens are crazy but obviously they’re not on a hill. If you put it in the right spots, you can score.”
The 23 year old has fond memories of Prague City Golf from his days as an amateur and he’s relishing the chance to get back on the course tomorrow, with enjoyment the main aim.
“It’s been really nice to be up there and giving myself some chances,” he said. “As I said at the beginning, I’m still learning a lot but I hope to keep improving and putting myself up there again.
“I just want to go out there, hit some good golf shots and enjoy myself. It’s a beautiful city, beautiful golf course and everything is great.”
Despite Arnaus and his fellow morning starters setting the pace at the top, there was a late resurgence from the players affected by the weather delay.
A clutch of late finishers – the last groups signed their cards after 9.15pm local time – joined Brown and Dobson on six under par, with Ugo Coussaud, José-Filipe Lima, Philipp Mejow, Kalle Samooja and Ricardo Santos all signing for rounds of 66 as the light began to fade in Prague.
Road to Ras Al Khaimah leader Joachim B. Hansen is one of a number of players in a share for 31st place on three under par.
Scores after Round One:
63 A Arnaus (Esp) ,
65 J Girrbach (Sui) ,
66 P Mejow (Ger) , J Lima (Por) , U Coussaud (Fra) , D Brown (Eng) , H Dobson (Eng) , K Samooja (Fin) , R Santos (Por) ,
67 M Schneider (Ger) , L Nemecz (Aut) , M Orrin (Eng) , B Stow (Eng) , A Puchmelter (Svk) , E España (Fra) ,
68 B Easton (RSA) , W Besseling (Ned) , T Tree (Eng) , M Fenasse (Fra) , A Tadini (Ita) , R Dinwiddie (Eng) , F Fritsch (Ger) , A Garcia-Heredia (Esp) , F Zucchetti (Ita) , J Senior (Eng) , M Ovesen (Den) , Ó Serna (Mex) , F Laporta (Ita) , M Lampert (Ger) , J Erkenbeck (USA) , T Yamac (am) (Tur) ,
69 P Maddy (Eng) , G Hurley (Irl) , C Sahlstrom (Swe) , M Kim (Kor) , D Law (Sco) , J Hansen (Den) , E Ferguson (Sco) , J Caldwell (Nir) , L Van Meijel (Ned) , R Kellett (Sco) , A Michael (RSA) , S Heisele (Ger) , R Saxton (Ned) , E Di Nitto (Ita) , S Soderberg (Swe) , S Matus (Cze) , J Lando Casanova (Fra) , A Leitmannstetter (Ger) ,
70 R Hjelm (Den) , D Van Driel (Ned) , E Goya (Arg) , R Macintyre (Sco) , M Schmitt (Ger) , A Meronk (Pol) , D Huizing (Ned) , G Porteous (Eng) , L Johnston (Sco) , M Calderon (Chi) , S Benson (Eng) , R Roussel (Fra) , J Sjöholm (Swe) , J Huldahl (Den) , M Haastrup (Den) , R Enoch (Wal) , R Sciot-Siegrist (Fra) , P Figueiredo (Por) , N Johansson (Swe) , O Stark (Swe) , C Braeunig (Ger) ,
71 J Hilleard (Eng) , P Valasek (Svk) , C Doak (Sco) , K Ventura (Nor) , D Papadatos (Aus) , K Koivu (Fin) , E Dubois (Fra) , S Tiley (Eng) , M Salminen (Fin) , N Lemke (Swe) , D Suchan (Cze) , M Gaspar (Por) , J Rutherford (Eng) , J Stalter (Fra) , T Santos Silva (Por) ,
72 B Parker (Eng) , B Ritthammer (Ger) , S Piaget (Mon) , D Løkke (Den) , M Galiano Aguilar (Esp) , M Trappel (Aut) , A Chapman (Eng) , C Feldborg Nielsen (Swe) , J Vecchi Fossa (Ita) , M Habeler (Aut) , F Mruzek (Cze) , A Wennstam (Swe) , H Ellis (Eng) , L Vaisanen (Fin) , L Cianchetti (Ita) , J Van Der Vaart (Ned) , S Wittmann (Aut) , H Leon (Chi) , T Lewis (Eng) ,
73 A Rozner (Fra) , V Riu (Fra) , S Hutsby (Eng) , B Hafthorsson (Isl) , J Kunzenbacher (Ger) , P Erofejeff (Fin) , R Kakko (Fin) , M Lundberg (Swe) , O Lieser (Cze) , A Korinek (Cze) , A Boasson (Isl) , J Zunic (Aus) ,
74 S Forgan (Eng) , R Van West (Ned) , J Adams (Eng) , O Lengden (Swe) , J Pastor (Esp) , J Cafourek (Cze) , Å Nilsson (Swe) , T Cruz (Por) , L Tintera (Cze) ,
75 B Moore (Eng) , P Relecom (Bel) , S Dyson (Eng) , M Perez (USA) , S Einhaus (Ger) , R Charania (Ken) , J Munro (Aus) , R Gruber (Aut) , T Cocha (Arg) , P Gal (Cze) , D Benak (am) (Cze) ,
76 D Perrier (Fra) , G King (Eng) , S Henry (Sco) , D Foos (Ger) , V Østerby (Den) , B Eccles (Aus) , G Brixi (am) (Cze) , O Lisy (am) (Cze) ,
77 J Brun (Fra) , B Hellgren (Swe) , C Suk (Cze) , S Ajster (Slo) , H Sayin (Tur) , A Costa (Chi) , P Dedek (Cze) , S Vida (am) (Svk) ,
79 J Friesz (Svk) , O Melichar (am) (Cze) ,
83 P Nic (Cze) ,
** L Robinson (Eng) ,