Hot start for Blaauw with 65 in Swiss Challenge

Jacques Blaauw carded a seven-under-par 65 on Thursday to get into a share of fourth after the first round of the Challenge Tour’s Swiss Challenge at Golf Saint Apollinaire in Michelbach-Le-Haut, France.

Blaauw is the only South African in the field, and he got off to a fast start from the 10th tee in his opening round, making birdies on 10 and 11. He picked up two in a row again on 13 and 14, and gained another stroke with a birdie on 17 to turn in five-under-par 31. A birdie on the first was followed by a bogey on four, but he immediately regained that dropped shot with a birdie on five. He closed out his round with a birdie on the ninth.

Despite that great start, he was still five strokes behind the leader, Marcel Schneider of Germany, whose 11-under 61 included two eagles and seven birdies, with no dropped shots. Schneider had a three-stroke lead over Blaauw’s playing partner Frederic Lacroix of France. Italy’s Enrico Nittio also carded an eight-under 64 to share second.

With three events, including the remainder of the Swiss Challenge, before the Challenge Tour’s Grand Final in Mallorca, Blaauw is currently in 34th position on the points list, and a good finish to the season would see him move closer to the top 15 who will gain their European Tour cards.

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