European Tour

Five share Ballantine's lead

2013-04-25 13:27
Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (Gallo)

Icheon - Five golfers from five different countries shared the club house lead after the rain and fog-hit first round of the Ballantine's Championship in South Korea Thursday.

Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Gonnet, Australia's Kieran Pratt, South Korean Kim Gi-Whan, England's Matthew Baldwin and Sweden's Johan Edfors were all knotted at five-under 67 at the $2.8 million tournament.

Play was halted for about two hours because of rain and fog, with the last pairings not setting off until 16:30, and half of the 156 players unable to finish their first round.

Gonnet said his putting was key to his early success.

"I haven't played like this for more than a year," he said. "I played pretty straight off the tee, and my putting was great. Five-under is a good score."

Pratt closed out his round with three consecutive birdies, aided by a 30-foot putt on the 16th and a 70-footer on the 17th, and said he surprised himself with such long putts.

"It was tough to get the rhythm back actually when we came back out on 11th (after the delay)," Pratt said.

"It was cold and then it was pretty warm when we came back out, so a lot of different conditions out there. But (I) seemed to handle it pretty well."

Kim, a 22-year-old Korean PGA Tour member, is chasing his first professional victory but said he would try not to grow too anxious about a possible win.

"I had a good round, but it's just one day," Kim said.

"There are still three days to go and with so many great players from all over the world, you never know what's going to happen. I am going to take it one shot at a time. I am willing to stay patient and take my time to prepare myself."

Defending champion Bernd Wiesberger was among 10 players in the club house at one-under 71. The Austrian had three bogeys on the back nine alone, and blamed the mid-round disruption for his sloppy play.

"Obviously, the break didn't help me," he said. "It's not a horrible start, but not what I would have deserved and what I feel I should have made today. But that's how it is and (I) have to take it on from here."

World number seven Louis Oosthuizen had a blistering start, with six birdies on the first nine, but he had two bogeys on the back nine and ended his day at four-under through 16 holes.

Leading completed scores at the Ballantine's Championship in Incheon, South Korea, Thursday after round one was interrupted by a weather delay. The round will be completed early on Friday (par 72, a denotes amateur):

67 - Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (FRA), Kieran Pratt (AUS), Johan Edfors (SWE), Kim Gi-Whan (KOR), Matthew Baldwin (ENG)

68 - Peter Lawrie (IRE), Lee Jung-Hwan (KOR)

69 - David Howell (ENG), Rikard Karlberg (SWE), Ryu Hyun-Woo (KOR), Kim Dae-Sub (KOR), Ricardo Gonzalez (ARG), Fabrizio Zanotti (PAR), Javier Colomo (ESP)

70 - Espen Kofstad (NOR), Y.E. Yang (KOR), Stephen Gallacher (SCO), Marc Warren (SCO), Hwang Jung-Gon (KOR), Romain Wattel (FRA), Berry Henson (USA), Peter Whiteford (SCO)

71 - Bernd Wiesberger (AUT), S.S.P. Chowrasia (IND), Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA), Shiy Kapur (IND), Richie Ramsay (SCO), Han Min-Kyu (KOR), Damien McGrane (IRE), Hong Soon-Sang (KOR), Jose Manuel Lara (ESP), Shin Yong-Jin (KOR)

Read more on:    ballantine's championship  |  golf

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