European Tour rookie, Jake McLeod, heads the Australians after the opening round of the KLM Open in Amsterdam, the 25 year old Queenslander’s round of 2 under 70 having him four shots behind the leader, Callum Shinkwin of England.
McLeod sits in 26th place in the event being held at The International, one shot ahead of Victorian, Deyen Lawson, with South Australia’s Adam Bland and NSW’s Dimi Papadatos another shot back.
McLeod, who gained European Tour status courtesy of his success on the Australasian Tour money list in 2018, currently sits in 159th position on the Race to Dubai Rankings and with only those 110th or better retaining their European Tour status for next season he has work to do over the next few weeks of the regular tour season.
Since graduating to the European Tour at the Australian PGA Championship last December, McLeod has missed the cut in more than half of his 17 events but he could possibly get things moving forward this week.
The leader Shinkwin is currently 126th in the Race to Dubai so it will be important for him also to build on the start he has made.
The 26 year old has yet to win on either the European or Challenge Tour although he did finish runner-up at the Scottish Open in 2017.
He has bounced back from forced withdrawals at each of his last two events, food poisoning and a back issue being the reasons for not completing his last two events.
“My golf as of late has not been great, as has my health as well, but the golf… is still not there, still very uncomfortable but I managed to turn it round today and shoot a good round of 66.
“I caught food poisoning back in Sweden – it can happen anywhere – but I caught it there and couldn’t get up on that Friday morning and then I’ve had a bit of a bad back as well. My back went last week and I thought the best thing to do it to walk in and basically have the weekend off and recover.
“Just working hard really. Been down the range, working on what I needed to work on. I wasn’t hitting the ball very well, that’s probably why the back wasn’t great but I’m just working hard and if I’m feeling uncomfortable then that means I’m doing the right things.”
One of the pre-tournament favourites, Sergio Garcia, lies in 9th place at 4 under and two from the lead.