The 2014 UniCredit PGA Professional Championship of Europe got underway today with 18 players scoring below par headed up by Ralph Miller (PGA of Holland) and Hugo Santos (PGA of Portugal) both carding 6 under rounds of 66.
Birdie was the word of the day as no less than 141 were carded at Pravets Golf Club with Miller and Santos making 12 between them. Miller’s round was perhaps marginally cleaner than Santos’ with a solid six birdies and 12 pars for his 66, whilst Santos also had six, along with a bogey cancelling eagle on the 7th hole.
“It felt great, I played solid all day,” said Miller. “Six birdies and no bogeys is always great – I got off to a good start with a great birdie on the first, it’s a tough hole to start here, and that got me going really.
“Last time I played here was 2011 when I finished third and I was one shot off the playoff…it’s a good start this time but there are four days so hopefully I can keep it going for the next three.”
It was co-leader Santos’ opening few holes that laid the groundwork for his opening round – “I was playing fairway to green and then made these two birdies, so I was just letting the game go and happen without pressing too much. I made the eagle but then had an accident on nine, but it’s golf, it happens.”
Lying just one shot behind is 2013 second place PGA of Switzerland Professional, Alec Roberts, who got off to an early head start with birdies at the 12th and 13th holes (his third and fourth) along with a two further birdies at holes 15 and 17. A single bogey at 18 halted that run until two last gasp birdies at Roberts’ 17th and 18th (eighth and ninth) took him to five under par (67).
“I started on the back nine which is the scoring nine…and I knew I had to get off to a fast start,” said Roberts. “I played the first eight holes really solid and was four-under par…I was really happy with my game at that point. I made a bad bogey on the 18th, but was pretty happy in the end with three-under par for the nine. Then on holes six, seven, eight and nine I played really solid again…and ended with a birdie-birdie finish…so all in all really happy.
PGA of France Professional, Laurent Poncelet, sits one shot back from Roberts at four-under par (68), whilst the PGA of Holland’s Edwin Derksen and the PGA of Germany’s Paul Archbold both carded three-under rounds of 69 for a tie of fifth place.
Round 2 of the 2014 UniCredit PGA Professional Championship of Europe at Pravets Golf & Spa Resort begins tomorrow at 10am (EEST). For full Round 1 scores and updates visit http://eur.pe/1t2FsIz.
For more information about the Confederation of Professional Golf, visit the Tournament Hub Page (http://eur.pe/1t2FsIz), follow @PGAsofEurope (http://bit.ly/Pojrwy) and search #PassportToPravets (http://eur.pe/1e6YQex) on Twitter, or like the Confederation of Professional Golf Facebook Page.
IMAGE CAPTION: PGA of Holland Professional, Ralph Miller (left), and PGA of Portugal Professional, Hugo Santos (right)
Notes to Editors:
An Association of 36 National PGAs (31 European and 5 international) with a collective membership in excess of 21,000 golf professionals, the Confederation of Professional Golf is committed to the advancement of golf, golfers and the golf profession across Europe.
The Association is also a partner in Ryder Cup Europe as the sole member of the Ryder Cup European Development Trust, and is widely acknowledged as a lead body in the delivery of golf development expertise on a global basis through its collaboration with The R&A in its “Working for Golf” programme. [cpg.golf]
Pravets Golf Club
Pravets Golf Club, in the magnificent Golf & Spa Resort, easily accessible from Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia, hosts the third PGA Professional Championship of Europe in 2013 after a hugely-successful re-launch of the Confederation of Professional Golf’s 72-hole individual strokeplay championship in 2011. The resort features a four-star Riu hotel with restaurants, superb spa and fully equipped fitness centre and all-round sporting facilities including the superbly designed Peter Harradine-designed course, partly lakeside and with the spectacular backdrop of the Stara Planina mountains. [www.pravets-golfclub.com]
UniCredit Bulbank is the biggest Bulgarian bank in terms of assets, exceeding BGN 12.7 billion as of March 2014. The Bank is servicing over one million individual clients and households, high profile private customers, small and mid sized businesses, larger domestic and multinational corporates, municipalities and budget enterprises. [www.UniCreditBulbank.bg]