OULTON HALL’S Daniel Gavins carded a superb nine-under-par 62 to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Wealth Design Invitational on the HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro Tour at Hawkstone Park, in Shropshire.
Gavins (Walton Driving Range) did not maintain full playing privileges after graduating from the EuroPro to the Challenge Tour in 2013, but hopes to make an immediate return to Europe’s second-tier tour next summer.
His round of 62 consisted of nine birdies and nine pars and is the lowest score shot on Hawkstone’s Championship Course, which is usually a par 72 but is being played as a 71 for this event.
“I started with a par on the 10th, a par-5. I got it close to the green (in two), chipped up to no more than 10ft and missed it,” said Gavins. “After that I stayed patient and managed to make nine birdies.
“I like the course. The greens are lovely. There are a few tough holes. Hole five is normally a par-5, but it is a tough par-4 this week. The 10th is a tough tee shot but there are scoring chances out there.
“I am going to try and get in the top five on the EuroPro this year. My card on the Challenge Tour isn’t getting me many starts so I will play as many of these as I can and go from there.”
Skelton (Middlesbrough) is three back. He has has enjoyed two top-10 finishes so far this season and got off to a flying start when he eagled the par-5 10th, his starting hole.