Woosie continues eastern affinity after six-under 65

IAN WOOSNAM’S affinity for eastern Europe this year continued after the Welshman fired a six under par round of 65 to lead after the first round of the inaugural Casa Serena Open in the Czech Republic.

Woosnam has triumphed on both of the European Seniors Tour’s visits to the east this season, following up his maiden victory at the Parkridge Polish Seniors Championship by also landing the Russian Seniors Open.

The Order of Merit leader began his pursuit of a hat-trick in the best possible fashion at Casa Serena, near Prague, with a birdie on the opening hole. He followed that with four consecutive birdies starting on the sixth before dropping his only shot of the day on the 10th after thinking he was hitting a three wood instead of the five wood he actually used.

The 50-year-old picked up a shot on the 14th before finishing with a birdie on the 18th to lead England’s Tony Allen and American Pete Oakley by one stroke, with Germany’s Bernhard Langer a shot further back on four under par after a 67.

Best of the Irish was Eamonn Darcy, with a 70, while Denis O’Sullivan is one shot further back on 71.

Woosnam said: “After last week that round was a miracle. I don’t know if it will last but I played pretty solid today. There must be something about eastern Europe!”

Both Allen and Oakley produced the best rounds of their seasons so far, with Allen’s 66 including four consecutive birdies from the 11th while Oakley eagled the last.

Langer, currently second behind Woosnam in the race for The John Jacobs Trophy, posted five birdies and one bogey in his round of 67 to join a group of eight players on four under par, two shots off the pace.

Gordon J Brand also made a solid start in his pursuit of three consecutive victories, signing for a 68.

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