Branden one off the pace in France

An eagle on the 12th hole was the catalyst for Branden Grace’s card of 65 in round one of the Golf Open de Lyon at Golf du Gouverneur in France on Thursday.

Grace closed the first day of the €150,000 tournament at six-under-par and held sole possession of second, one stroke shy of leader Craig Lee.

The 2010 Coca-Cola Championship winner started on the 10th, yet the highlight of his round came on the par-five third hole when he made the green in two and sank his putt for eagle.

The 23-year-old has recorded four top-10 finishes on the Challenge Tour this year, including a second-place result at the Acaya Open.

Grace went round Golf du Gouverneur without dropping a shot, and added four birdies to his card before closing the day in second place.

Scottish leader Craig Lee, who also started on the back stretch, saw off Pretoria-born Grace by tearing through the front nine in 29 to close the day at seven-under-par.

Countrymen Tyrone Ferreira and Michiel Bothma will both begin their rounds in the afternoon field and will have a clear, if lofty, goal set out when they chase the leading round of 64.

Grace’s eagle on the third pushed him up the leaderboard, and the opportunity from his opening 65 should not be squandered.

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