Rookie Jamieson leads field in Spain

SCOTLAND’S Scott Jamieson, playing just the 11th European Tour event of his career, tops the leaderboard after the first round of the Spanish Open in Barcelona.

The 27-year-old Glasgow native shot a very impressive six-under-par 66 at El Prat to end day one ahead of England’s Steve Webster, Indian Jeev Milkha Singh, France’s Romain Wattel and Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal respectively.

Already with two top-10 finishes this season after graduating from the Challenge Tour, Jamieson grabbed eight birdies and would have been clear out in front but for bogeys at the 14th and fourth.

He is a former student at Augusta State and dreams of returning there one day to play in The Masters alongside the world’s best.

“We were allowed to play the course once a year and that was thrilling,” he said.

“I didn’t get a wink of sleep the night before the first time I played.

“In my first three rounds I shot 80 – same as Rory McIlroy last month, of course – and on my fourth I finally had a respectable 74.

“Not to make excuses, we always played in the winter when it was cold and wet.

“You look at the first hole and during The Masters those guys are hitting nine-iron and wedge into the green, but my shortest second shot was a four-iron.

“It’s a really special place.”

Webster, 36, has still to make it to The Masters 16 years after beating Tiger Woods to the top amateur prize in The Open at St Andrews.

Former French Open champion Larrazabal is playing on his home course and said: “I was ready to play in front of my people and have been dreaming of this round for a long time – since October when we knew the tournament was here.

“I know everything about this course.

“I know where to hit, where to miss and when to attack.”

His brother Alex was crowned British amateur champion eight years ago and is now the caddie for Jose Maria Olazabal, but the double Masters winner had to settle for a level-par 72 yesterday.

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