Sam Torrance’s 705th event on the European Tour – a record by more than 80 - did not begin in the manner he envisaged today.
The 55-year-old former Ryder Cup captain ran up a triple bogey eight on the 582-yard eighth, his opening hole in the Estoril Portuguese Open at Oitavos Dunes.
Torrance was competing on a sponsor’s invitation two weeks after winning a European Seniors Tour event in Barbados.
While he immediately slumped to three over par England’s Ross McGowan birdied three of his first four holes and Argentina’s Ricardo Gonzalez three of his first five to share the lead.
Ireland's Paul McGinley is tied in sixth place on one under after two holes along with a host of other players, including Scotlands Andrew McLardy and England's Simon Dyson.
Torrance had an interesting comment to make yesterday about Colin Montgomerie’s wish to have Jose Maria Olazabal as his vice-captain in next year’s match against the Americans at Celtic Manor.
Olazabal, who was Nick Faldo’s deputy in Louisville last September and is expected to be in charge in Chicago in 2012, has again said is not sure he wants to do the job, even though Montgomerie went on television last month to say they had an agreement.
“You have to understand Ollie has done his stint as vice-captain,” said Torrance, who led Europe to victory at The Belfry in 2002 after assisting Mark James in Boston three years earlier.
“It’s a huge learning experience, but he doesn’t want to be the second in command any more and that’s exactly how he should feel.”