30th May 2013 | Alps Tour Golf

Magnificent Marguery flys into Grado Open lead

France’s Raphael Marguery shot a seven-under-par 65 early on Thursday to open up a two-shot lead after the first round of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Open in Italy.

France’s Raphael Marguery shot a seven-under-par 65 (c) Agathe Séron

Frenchman Raphael Marguery defied back pain and the menacing Italian skies to post a seven-under-par first-round 65 in the Friuli Venezia Giulia Open on Thursday for a two-shot lead.

Marguery was in the fourth group out on another gloomy summer’s day and despite back soreness which hampered his play at last week’s Umbria Open he managed four birdies on his opening nine and a further four on the way home.

Behind Marguery was compatriot Sebastien Gros, while fellow countrymen Frederic Abadie and Nicolas Peyrichou were among five players on four-under.

Twice Alps Tour winner this season Andrew Cooley, second in the order of merit, shot a three-under 69 in the presence of former Ryder Cup player and European Tour winner Costantino Rocca, who carded a six-over 78.

Rocca’s play was far off the high standards that made him a household name worldwide in the 1990s, unlike the game of Marguery who said the short course had been to his liking.

“You can attack, a lot of drivers and wedges which I like,” said the Frenchman, hopeful of avoiding any back pains for his second round as he seeks a first win on the tour.

“My back was quite bad, I hurt it last week and missed the cut. But it’s been like that for two years so I’ve become used to it. It’s just a case of managing it.”

Cooley was delighted with his solid opening round after missing three cuts in his last four events following his excellent start to the season with back-to-back wins in February and March, which took him to the top of the order of merit.

An excellent par save at the par-three 18th following an overhit first putt put a smile on the Englishman’s face on a special day for the 24-year-old.

“I didn’t find out until yesterday that I was paired with Costantino. This is a guy who has played in Ryder Cups, so it was pretty special. He’s really nice,” said Cooley.

With order of merit leader Jesus Leggarea playing on the Challenge Tour this week and fellow Spaniard Borja Etchart also competing at home, Cooley and fourth-placed Brendan McCarroll (71) of Ireland will hope to move up the list.

From Grado

Tom Pilcher

Golfmanager Press Agency

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