Aiken on 2-under, 8 off brilliant McGowan’s pace

Oct 7, 2021 | Featured, South Africans abroad

While the story of the day was the superb 10-under-par 61 by Roos McGowan, the leading South African after the first round of the Acciona Open de España at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid in Madrid, Spain was Thomas Aiken on two-under-par 69.

Aiken had six birdies and four bogeys to share 52nd place together with George Coetzee, who had seven birdies and five bogeys in his 69. They were eight shots off the pace set by the 39-year-old McGowan, who was a winner on the Sunshine Tour in 2015 when he won the Mopani Redpath Zambia Open.

McGowan, who last won on the European Tour in last year’s Italian Open, had eight birdies and an eagle as he set the course record at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid, and, incredibly, was only one shot clear of Spaniard Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez. World number one Jon Rahm was lurking a further shot back on eight-under in third.

Darren Fichardt carded a one-under 70 to start, with Wilco Nienaber, Daniel van Tonder, Haydn Porteous and Justin Walters all on level-par in a share of 88th. Zander Lombard was on on-over and Justin Harding was on four-over.

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