Hennie hanging tough in China

Hennie Otto stayed in touch with the leaders at the Volvo China Open on Thursday by carding an opening 72 at Genzon Golf Club to share 21st.

 

The two-time European Tour winner had a slow front nine and made his first deviation from par with a birdie at the ninth. After that he began to attack a little more and was rewarded with birdies at the 11th and 13th.

 

Aggressive golf can be costly at the 6534-metre course and Otto felt the pinch at the 12th and 16th, which left him one-under-par with two to play.

 

But ahead lay the par-five 17th, where the 37-year-old laid-up for a birdie that would put him into a share of 21st on two-under. Also tied on the number were Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari.

 

Up at the top it was a battle between Alvaro Quiros, Simon Dyson and Alexander Levy, all of whom shot five-under-par 67 for the first round to share the lead.

 

David Horsey and Brett Rumford were both knocking on four-under-par, while tournament favourites Ian Poulter and Peter Uihlein  loomed on three-under.

 

For 2011 South Africa Open Champion Otto it was a case of keeping touch, which he achieved. Tomorrow he’ll look to gain some ground on the frontrunners as he sets out to secure Euro win number three.

 

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