Four lead the way at Slaley Hall

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SLALEY Hall is hosting some of golf’s greats of the recent past this week, but four little known players led the way after the first round of the De Vere Club PGA Seniors Championship.

Paraguayan Angel Franco, runner-up in each of the last two years, carded a one under par 71 to share the lead with Australian trick shot specialist Dave Merriman and English pair Bob Cameron and Matt Briggs.

Sandy Lyle had four birdies in his level par 72, just one off the lead, alongside former Slaley Hall winner Carl Mason, who was three under.

Barry Lane bogeyed five holes but an eagle and two birdies kept him in touch on 73, alongside Ian Woosnam and Sam Torrance, and remains confident for the weekend. The 51-year-old said: “I’m actually happy given how I played the last 12 holes.

“I played fantastic for the first seven holes but then had a bad run of holes.

“It’s a proper course for me, very tricky.”

Defending champion David J Russell endured a nightmare, bogeying five holes on the outward nine and carding a dismal six at the last to end with an eight over 80.

At the top, qualifier Briggs’s three-birdie round was only marred by a bogey at the ninth hole (his last of the day). He said: “I didn’t have a single bogey but nine is such a hard hole. I play it as a par five but it’s still tough.”

Play continues today, with a cut before the third and fourth rounds tomorrow and Sunday. Free admission tickets can be downloaded at