Tournament: English Trophy presented by Rocket Yard Sports Marketing
Venue: Frilford Heath Golf Club, Abingdon, England
Round One report
Daniel Young and Filip Mruzek both birdied their final three holes to claim a share of the English Trophy presented by Rocket Yard Sports Marketing lead on eight under par.
The duo’s respective rounds of 64 were enough to share a one-stroke lead from four other players on a day which started with a two-hour fog delay and ended with every afternoon group still to finish their opening rounds at Frilford Heath Golf Club.
Swedish duo Simon Forsström and Henric Sturehed, Englishman Jonathan Thomson and France’s Adrien Saddier all share third place on seven under par, with the latter still having nine holes to complete on Friday.
Scotland’s Young currently lies 80th on the Road to Mallorca Rankings and knows fully well he needs a strong finish in order to earn a place in the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final supported by The R&A, where the top 45 players will compete for a spot on the DP World Tour.
“It was a good finish,” Young said. “There are scoreable holes if you get your tee shots away. 16 and 18 are short, so you can get it around the green and have a short pitch in, which I managed to do on those two holes. I hit a nice wedge into seven or eight feet on 17 as well and managed to roll that in, which was nice.
“It’s just another week. You obviously look at the Rankings, everybody does, but for me to get to Mallorca I’d have to top three it, or something like that. My plan has been the same as every other week, go out and play good golf and see where it leaves me at the end of the week.
“I think we’re all good out here, everybody deserves a place, you’ve got to earn it. You’ve got to believe in yourself out here, otherwise you’re playing the wrong sport. If I manage to have a really good week this week, which hopefully I can and play my way into Mallorca, then I can go there with confidence high after this week and give myself a chance of getting one of the 20 cards.”
Mruzek needs to secure victory in order to extend his season and has given himself the best chance to do so after dropping only one shot on the opening day.
“Eight under ties my record on the Challenge Tour from Belgium in 2019 so I’m happy, I’m pleased. Nine birdies, one bogey, it’s a nice start,” he said.
“I struggled the first three or four holes off the tee, I didn’t feel that comfortable with the fog, I couldn’t swing with the rhythm I wanted, but I had 25 putts and I think I hold five putts from five metres which is a help on this golf course. It was a good day.
“Mallorca is my goal because the season hasn’t been as good as I’d wished. The only chance to get there is to win, so I’ll do my best, it’s going to be tough because there are good players here but it’s a good start and we’ll see.”
Those still needing to finish their opening rounds will return to the course at 8:20am on Friday.