Jamie Bower leads Yorkshire challenge in Slovakia with opening 66

Meltham's Jamie Bower shot a 66 in the first round of the European championship (Picture: Chris Stratford).
Meltham's Jamie Bower shot a 66 in the first round of the European championship (Picture: Chris Stratford).
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YORKSHIRE’S new England Home International, Jamie Bower (Meltham), lies just two shots off the lead in the European Championship in Slovakia.

Bower carded a six-under-par 66 on the Legend Course at Penati Golf Resort, which included an eagle at the 318-yard par-4 14th where he drove to within 20 yards of the green and then chipped in.

His round had begun with birdies at the first two holes and although he dropped a shot at the fifth he was back on the birdie trail at the next.

After birdieing 11 he bogeyed 12, but his response was his eagle at 14 plus further birdies at 15 and 18.

His Yorkshire team-mate and fellow Home International debutant, Dan Brown (Bedale), shot 69 as did Lindrick’s Jonathan Thomson, both men having started at the 10th.

Brown’s round began inauspiciously with a double bogey at the 372-yard par-4 10th, but his response was impressive, four birdies carded in five holes including three in succession from the 13th.

On his second nine, he birdied the second and had eight pars.

Thomson began with birdies at 10 and 11 and went four under with a further pair at 14 and 15 before bogeying 17.

He birdied the first but bogeyed the ninth, his last, for his 69.

Huddersfield’s Nick Marsh had a 75. After three dropped shots in a row from the third he birdied six and seven.

Two bogeys and a birdie coming home left him at three over.