Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano wasted no time in moving into a share of the lead when the Spanish Open resumed at El Saler today.
Fernandez-Castano, who made the trip to Valencia immediately after finishing 20th in the Masters at Augusta at the weekend, carded a three-under 69 in his opening round yesterday.
That left him one shot behind joint leaders Felipe Aguilar, Gary Stal and Morten Orum Madsen, but a birdie on the 11th – his second hole – this morning took Fernandez-Castano level on four under par.
On a crowded leaderboard more than 30 players were within three shots of the lead, with England’s David Howell and Eddie Pepperell both picking up an early birdie to move to three under.
Ireland’s Peter Lawrie and Scotland’s Marc Warren were a shot behind in a large group on two under, while Miguel Angel Jimenez was still searching for his first birdie of the week on his return to action.
Jimenez, the European Tour’s oldest winner following his victory in Hong Kong last November, suffered a broken leg while skiing the following month and admits he is still not 100 per cent, but was keen to play in his national Open, the only tournament in Spain in 2013.
A first round 76 left him battling to make the halfway cut and a bogey on the 12th today left the 49-year-old five over par.