Express & Star

Staffordshire's Richard Mansell two shots off lead after superb first day at Singapore Open

Staffordshire’s Richard Mansell pulled together a stellar round on the opening day of the Porsche Singapore Classic to put himself within two shots of the lead.


Burntwood 28-year-old Mansell carded seven birdies, dropping just one shot on the final hole, finishing with a six-under-par round of 66 to end day one tied for fifth, two shots behind co-leaders Jordan Smith, Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Gavin Green.

Aphibarnrat set the early pace with nine birdies and a single bogey in his 64, a total which was matched in the following group by Englishman Smith, who carded an eagle and six birdies.

“Really happy with how I played,” Smith said. “I had a great day, it was nice and relaxed. I had a lot of fun out there.

“It was just a bit of a tricky second shot [on the 18th] but I ended up picking the right club and hitting the five wood to a couple of feet and making the eagle putt. That was good momentum halfway through to take into the second nine.”

Shane Lowry admitted he needs to control his emotions better after an opening 69. Lowry made a flying start with three birdies in his first four holes at Laguna National but covered the next 10 in two over par before picking up shots on the 15th and 18th.

“I got off to a great start and I suppose I guess I just thought it was going to be easy and it kind of me bit me back in the middle of the round, but I fought well and finished well and I’m pretty happy with that,” Lowry said.

“I actually struggled on the greens, the grain on the greens and it was quite windy and hard to putt so hopefully I can get out and manage to hole a few putts.

“Hopefully I can get used to them as the week goes on and I can keep posting better numbers.”

Lowry came close to making a hole-in-one on the fourth before tapping in for a birdie and added: “That was to go three under after four and, like I said, I felt like golf was easy and everything was going to be easy.

“But it bit me back and I need to be a bit more in control of my emotions tomorrow and just kind of play one hole at a time.

“A 69 feels way better than 70, even though it’s not that much better.

“It’s nice to shoot three under because going out this morning you’re standing on the first tee eight behind the leader you know there’s a lot of good scores out there.

“When you’re not doing it you start to get a little bit frustrated but I stuck with it and three under’s okay.”

Telford’s Will Enefer finished his first round on one over par. The 26-year-old carded six birdies but was set back by seven bogeys.