Nordea Masters round one proved to be very successful for Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher after he finished on five-under-par, just one-shot off the lead.
Key to Gallacher’s success was his tee-to-green play. The Bathgate man was joint second in greens in regulation stats for the first round, and if he keeps that up he will be a strong contender for the Nordea Masters.
"I’ve done some work with Dave Stockton in America and I’ve been putting better this year."
“I’m delighted with that. It wasn’t a vintage striking day, but I rolled the ball really well. Probably as good as I’ve rolled it for a while,” said Gallacher.
“I’ve done some work with Dave Stockton in America and I’ve been putting better this year, which helps.”
Ryder Cup 2014 qualification
Stephen needs a few high profile wins to try and force his way into the Ryder Cup team in Gleneagles, and victory at the Nordea Masters would be a great place to start. Only the top-four pictured above are gaurenteed a spot.
Gallacher chases Nordea Masters joint leader, Jens Dantorp who, inspired by a home crowd, shot a bogey-free-round 66.
“I can’t really explain how good the support I got today was,” said Dantorp. “All my friends, all my buddies, were here and there was so much applause. That was one of the biggest keys to my success today. It definitely helped me.”
Another Swede in the hunt is last year’s Race to Dubai champion Henrik Stenson. He lies three behind after a round of 69 but Stenson was left to mull over what might have been.
"I’ll take three-under, but I’m not happy with how I played."
““It was a sloppy round. I felt I left a lot of shots out there,” said the world No.2. “The course was playing pretty easy so I should’ve been a lot better.
“I got off to a good start, the made a few mistakes then got it going again but then slipped up and then finished pretty strong, apart from the ninth there. I’ll take three-under, but I’m not happy with how I played.”
One-shot ahead of Stenson are Scottish pair Jack Doherty and Craig Lee who both shot four-under-par. Doherty came into the Nordea Masters ranked 933rd in the World so a strong finish in Sweden would see the Scot drop significantly down the rankings.
Nordea Masters: tight at the top
Overall the leaderboard is very crowded at the top with five players tied for first place and a further seven bunched for second. Have a look below to see the current Nordea Masters leaderboard here.