Luke Goddard described it as the best round of his European Challenge Tour career as the Englishman carded a superb seven under par 64 to move into a one-shot lead after a weather-affected opening day of the Telenet Trophy.
The beginning of play was delayed by three and a half hours at the prestigious Royal Waterloo Golf Club due to heavy rain, but not even a further two-hour suspension midway through Goddard’s round would distract him as he flourished on the back nine.
The 25 year old resumed before embarking on a stunning run of four consecutive birdies from the fifth hole, his 14th, to add to the five birdies on his front nine before a bogey at the last denied him the chance to take a two-shot lead into the second day.
While many groups are yet to finish their first rounds on day two, Goddard was simply delighted with how all facets of his game came together in one thoroughly enjoyable round.
“I started really well with a birdie on ten,” said the former Walker Cup player. “Then I had a bogey at the 11th but I played really solid after that, made plenty of birdies and even missed a couple of good chances.
“I’m really pleased with the way I played. At the (par five) fifth I was tempted to go for the green in two but I laid up and it was a good decision because I made birdie, then I chipped in at six with a nice shot up a tier.
“I holed a 15-foot putt at the seventh and hit a good approach into the eight to about 10 foot so it was a nice finish. I didn’t force it today and was nice and relaxed.
“It was the best round I’ve had on the Challenge Tour. It’s a really nice feeling, especially after a poor start to the season. It’s good to get off and running.”
Goddard was one shot clear of Finland’s Roope Kakko, whose six under par opening round of 65 was enough to move him into outright second place and he was happy to maintain his momentum after an impressive final round 68 at last week’s Madeira Islands Open – Portugal – BPI, where he finished tied fifth.
“In the final round last week I just found something and I was striking the ball really well and that same feeling is still going,” said the 31 year old. “It’s funny, it seems the guys who play well on Sunday play well the following week so I just tried to do the same things.”
Martin Sell of England was a shot further back in third place, after a five under par 66, while American Dodge Kemmer, Adrian Otaegui of Spain and another Englishman James Ruth were tied forth on four under.
Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)