‘It wasn’t beautiful,’ Spaniard says of his round, but he holds lead on chilly day in quest for 1st victory on European Tour in 7 years
67: First-round score for Spain’s Alejandro Canizares, who opened a one-stroke lead Thursday at the European Tour’s Austrian Open in Atzenbrugg, Austria. Canizares raced to 4 under through eight holes after making consecutive bogeys at Nos. 7 and 8 before a bogey at the par-4 12th at Diamond Country Club, where the temperatures never got out of the 40s on a raw, overcast day. A bounce-back birdie at the par-4 13th got him back to 4 under before he took the lead with a birdie at the par-5 16th before clutch par-saving putts on the final two holes. “I was happy the way that I managed bad shots,” Canizares said, “because I didn’t let them get to me like has happened in the past. That was a key. I didn’t think that I played wonderfully tee to green. It wasn’t beautiful, but I hit some really good shots and made some good putts in the end. Solid round, overall.” Canizares, 38, a two-time winner on the European Tour, is making only his fourth start of 2021 and coming off of a T-20 at the Kenya Savannah Classic. He played college golf at Arizona State, where he won the 2003 NCAA individual championship as a freshman. Canizares is looking for his first victory in seven years. American John Catlin and two-time major champion Martin Kaymer of Germany were tied for third with Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg and South Africa’s Jacques Kruyswijk at 68 (scores).
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