• Craig Lee and David Drysdale also enjoy solid starts in Moscow
• Challenge Tour event delayed - Jack Doherty takes early lead
Scott Jamieson put together his best opening round of the season to co-lead the M2M Russian Open – while fellow Scots Craig Lee and David Drysdale also enjoyed solid starts in Moscow.
The 31-year-old faded at last week's Czech Masters after starting with a 67, finishing a lowly T73 after following it up with rounds of 72, 78 and 75, and he will no doubt be hoping for a better outcome this time around as he pursues his second European Tour title.
Starting on the tenth hole, Jamieson, whose one and only win came at the 2012 Nelson Mandela Championship, birdied two of his first four holes and reached the turn in 34. He then caught fire on the front nine, birdieing four in a row from the first to the fourth before safely coming in with five pars, with his one on the par-3 ninth particularly pleasing.
"Conditions are flawless, probably the best we’ve seen all year" - Scott Jamieson
“The birdie putt at nine was looking good but it was a relief to see it settle just a foot from the hole,” Jamieson, who is yet to record a top ten finish in 21 European Tour starts this season, told the European Tour. “It’s a tough hole today, playing into the wind with a back pin so three is a good score there.
“It’s a typical (Jack) Nicklaus course, there’s a bit of room off the tee but you have to be really careful with your approach shots to the greens. I’m trying to follow Jack’s philosophy of middle of the green and take it from there.
“Conditions are flawless, probably the best we’ve seen all year. There’s hardly a blade of grass out of place anywhere across the whole estate so it’s a pleasure to come and play.”
Daniel Gaunt shares the clubhouse lead with Jamieson on six-under-par, while Lee Slattery and Bradley Dredge are a shot back. Lee, who finished eighth at the Czech Masters, is lurking on four-under-par, while Drysdale carded a three-under-par 68.
Despite being host to one of the weakest European Tour fields of the season – Thailand’s Prom Meesawat is the highest-ranked player in Moscow at world No.163 – playing in the tournament is a multiple major champion and former world No.1.
Ex-tennis supremo Yevgeny Kafelnikov, who played in his first Russian Open back in 2005, carded a six-over-par 77, which was his joint-fourth best out of 49 professional rounds on both the European and Challenge Tours.
And switching focus to the Challenge Tour, where no fewer than ten Scots are competing at the Cordon Open in France, play was delayed by three hours after vandals targeted six of the course’s greens.
Once things did get underway, it was another Scot, Jack Doherty, who held the clubhouse lead among the early starters on four-under-par, while Peter Whiteford opened up with a solid two-under-par 68.
Scott Jamieson :: Can he add another win?
Can Scott Jamieson capitalise on the weakened field in this week's Russian Open and grab his second European Tour win? Leave your thoughts in the 'Comments' section below.