With late bogeys in the first round of the Johnnie Walker Championship, Markus Brier is in a much better position than he is currently in 59th place. Solid from the tee and with a few good green shots he gets three birdies and a total of 73 strokes (+1).
“My golf was better than before. I kept the ball well in play and didn’t make any really bad shots. Too bad about the late bogeys. 1 under would have been a good score – that was inside and I could have been satisfied with that,” Markus Brier’s summary after the first round of the tournament after a three-week betting break.
On Thursday, the 44-year-old Viennese will hit 10 of 14 fairways, which is a clear improvement over the previous rounds. “I was never further than two or three metres from the fairway,” Brier said with relief. The bitter bogeys on holes 15 and 16 pass after flawless tees, but with mistakes when shooting into the green: On hole 15 (par 4, 423 m) he hits the 7-iron fat and lets himself a 30-metre putt on the long flag. On hole 16 (par 5, 497 m) he attacks the flag on the left back of the green with the wedge and gets into the left green bunker.
Before that, Brier can look forward to a first birdie on the frontnine on the 2 (par 5, 472 m) and rows of hit greens. “5, 6, 7, 8 – those were all good shots into the green,” says Brier. Further birdies fall on holes 11 (par 4, 320 m) and 14 (par 4, 293 m) with solid drives, good attacks and safe putts.
The bogey on hole 4, a long par 3 (219 m), passes into the green bunker with the 3-iron after the tee shot. On the 13, one of the few weaker drives gets into an unfavorable position near the fairway. At the monster par-4 (440 m) Brier can only advance.
Brett Rumford (AUS) and Knut Borsheim (DEN) set the record at 5 under par. Ryder Cup aspirant Nicolas Colsaerts (BEL) keeps his chances for a starting place in the European team with 69 (-3) and currently rank 7. If Colsaerts becomes 2nd in Gleneagles, he will displace Martin Kaymer (GER) from the dozen of defending champions. With only two strokes behind on 22nd place, Markus Brier has the best cut chances since a long time. The last starters are still on the way, the positions may still change slightly. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)