Favourite Dyson leads but feels he ‘left shots out there’

YORKSHIRE’S Simon Dyson produced a bogey-free round to sit among three players tied for the lead on the opening day of the M2M Russian Open at Tseleevo Golf & Polo Club near Moscow.

Simon Dyson

Malton’s Dyson, the pre-tournament favourite, yesterday shot a five-under-par 67 that included five birdies, putting him at the head of the field alongside Swede Rikard Karlberg and China’s Liang Wen-chong.

It continues a return to form for Dyson, who made just seven cuts in his first 15 events of 2013 but then finished fifth in the Alstom Open de France and tied 12th in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open on his last two appearances to climb to 81st in the Race to Dubai.

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“That was as good as I have played for a long, long time,” Dyson tsaid.

“I missed one fairway and that was by a yard and then just hit so many quality iron shots.

“It was coming straight out of the middle of the clubface all day and when you are hitting it like that then you just have to enjoy and try to take as many chances as you can.

“I don’t want to say I am disappointed with five under because you can never be too disappointed with that, but it could have been a lot better because I missed a few real good birdie chances and left a few shots out there.

“But, as I said, I am not going to get too down on myself because I played so well out there and I just can’t wait to get back out there now because I am feeling good.”

Karlberg overcame a slow start to post the best round of the morning starters, bogeying the first two holes before atoning with five birdies as well as a pitch-in eagle at the long eighth, and Liang carded six birdies against a solitary bogey.

Dyson’s compatriots Matthew Baldwin and James Morrison, Javier Colomo of Spain and Italian Alessandro Tadini all went round in 68 to lie one off the lead.

Jarmo Sandelin of Sweden, who shot 77, managed a hole-in-one on the 220-yard 16th.

American Gene Sauers leads the Senior Open after posting an opening-round three-under-par 67 at Southport’s Royal Birkdale.

The 50-year-old, who is making his first appearance at the tournament, ended up one shot clear of a group of four players, including Germany’s 2010 champion Bernhard Langer.

Colin Montgomerie, another 50-year-old making his Senior Open debut, was further down the leaderboard, the Scot placing joint-37th with a two-over-par 72.

Sauers reached the turn in a bogey-free 34 and made his first birdie of the day at the par-four 10th. He then bogeyed the following hole, but went on to finish well, making a hat-trick of gains in succession from the 15th.

Fred Couples, the defending champion, struggled to a four-over-par 74.