Lomas hits 65 to lead Mallorca Open

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/g/golfgeneric1.jpg' class='caption'> With the Volvo Masters just a week away, a field of 120 turned out for the Mallorca Open at the Pula Golf Club on Thursday.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:48 IST
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With the Volvo Masters just a week away, a field of 120 turned out for the Mallorca Open at the Pula Golf Club on Thursday hoping to improve their places in the Order of Merit standings. There was also a strong Spanish contingent on show, headed by the defending champion Sergio Garcia. But it was not the best of days for the European Masters champion. Garcia began with a bogey at the second and despite two birdies on the 6th and 7th, failed to make a greater impression and finished with a 69, one under par and tied for 18th place. His countryman, Jose Maria Olazabal, is expected to do well this week as he is involved in redesigning the course, but an up-and-down round that contained a six at the 10th and a bogey-bogey-par finish left the two-time US Masters champion on one under as well. Flying the flag It was left to Miguel Angel Jimenez to fly the flag for the home nation and the inaugural winner of the Mallorca Open in 2003 put together a three under par round of 67, two off then lead - but for a bit of luck on the greens though, it might have been a lot better. European Ryder Cup captain Ian Woosnam's day finished early on the 17th, when aback problem that has been dogging the Welshman for some time forced his retirement. In the end, the top of the leaderboard was filled with some unexpected names. John Bickerton secured his first win on the European Tour in Tenerife a couple of weeks ago and is hoping to carry that form into the 289th event of his career. An impressive 67 was a little marred by a dropped shot at the last, but the 35 year-old Englishman lies tied for fourth place on three under. Countryman Paul Broadhurst also shot a 67, with halves of 33 and 34 without dropping a shot all day. Shared second place A third Englishman, Mark Foster, went one better with a four under par round of 66 for a share of second place with Ireland's Gary Murphy. But the clear leader after the first round of the Mallorca Open is yet another Englishman. Jonathan Lomas birdied the ninth to go out in 33 and added three more on the back nine to card a 65 for a one shot lead going into Friday. The 37 year-old former Czech Open champion has struggled a bit since his eighth placed finish at the French Open in June, but looks well set to put that right over the weekend. (AP)

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