Syme Sets About Burying Celtic Manor Demons With Share Of Cazoo Open Lead

Scotland’s Connor Syme set about burying the demons of two years ago in posting a four-under 67 to grab a share of the lead on the opening day of the Cazoo Open on the Celtic Manor course in Wales.

Syme, 27, kick-started his round from the 11th hole and quickly raced to be three-under through five holes and after a birdie on his ninth, he then birdied his 17th in chipping to just four feet but bogeyed his last, the 10th on the scorecard.

He said: “It was a very good round, I played really solid and with my only dropped shot of the day there on 10th or my last.

Scotland’s Connor Syme sharing the lead day one 2022 Cazoo Open

“I’m very pleased as it was very tricky out there, and the wind was moving all over the place, certainly on the back nine.  I was just a matter of trying to do your best to keep on top of it.

“I kept my ball out of the trouble well and it’s a good start. You’ve got to drive it well and the greens are pretty undulating in parts as well so you need to be cautious about where you’re leaving it.

“It challenges every part of your game, all round you need to play really good golf to score, it’s just a challenging golf course.

“So, after one poor swing all day, it’s a very positive start”.

Syme shares the lead with Frenchman Julien Guerrier and England’s Dale Whitnell while his good friend and hotel room-mate Ewen Ferguson already is well-placed in signing for a three-under 68.

Two years ago, and at the height of the COVID lockdown, Syme took a one-stroke lead into the last day of the Celtic Classic on the same 2010 Ryder Cup host venue only to shoot a disappointing level par last round and eventually share third place, three shots from the front.

Now in his 104th Tour start, Syme’s returned to Wales to try and make amendsIU.

Meantime –

England’s David Howell joined an exclusive DP World Tour club of now only three players to have played in 700 Tour events.  Howell, and chair of the Tour’s Tournament Players Committee, joins Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez and Scot Sam Torrance in the ‘700 Events Club’.

Howell, who posted a two-over 73, said: “It’s quite remarkable really.  You set off on Tour and just hope to get a card, find out what that means, and you make your way.

“You couldn’t dream it actually, I don’t think there’s ever a time that you’re on Tour and think that you’d reach the number of 700.

“It’s a lot of events, I’m always someone who’s played a lot, obviously, and I’m very proud to have got to that number – there’s only two other people”.

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