Syme and Smith share Wales lead

Live coverage continues on Friday from 1.30pm on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Mix

By Sky Sports Golf

Last Updated: 20/08/20 10:44pm

Connor Syme is chasing a maiden European Tour title at the ISPS Handa Wales Open

Connor Syme is chasing a maiden European Tour title at the ISPS Handa Wales Open

Connor Syme is chasing a maiden European Tour title at the ISPS Handa Wales Open

Connor Syme followed on from last week’s strong showing at the Celtic Championship to grab a share of the early ISPS Handa Wales Open lead, held at the same venue.

The Scot finished tied-third last week at the Celtic Manor Resort, three strokes behind Sam Horsfield, before posting an opening-round 66 this week to share the early lead with Jordan Smith.

Syme mixed seven birdies with two bogeys on the Twenty Ten Course, while Smith posted three birdies in a four-hole stretch around the turn and picked up shots on two of his last four holes to also get to five under.

Smith finished tied-22nd at the Celtic Championship last week Smith finished tied-22nd at the Celtic Championship last week

Smith finished tied-22nd at the Celtic Championship last week

“We were thinking a little bit about how they might change the golf course but the wind has certainly done that for us – a completely different direction and a lot stronger,” Syme said. “It was a good round, I had to plan my way around differently but I did that and holed a few nice putts.

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“I took a lot of confidence from last week. It was a new experience for me having a 54-hole lead and I really enjoyed it. I’m trying to get back into those positions as much as I can.

Robert MacIntyre and Kurt Kitayama sit two strokes back in a share of third alongside Callum Shinkwin and Sebastian Soderberg, with Thomas Pieters – the highest-ranked player in the field – three off the pace after a two-under 69.

MacIntyre made an eagle, two birdies and a solitary bogey during his opening round MacIntyre made an eagle, two birdies and a solitary bogey during his opening round

MacIntyre made an eagle, two birdies and a solitary bogey during his opening round

Horsfield, chasing a fourth win in four weeks, signed for a two-over 73 despite three birdies in his first five holes, with Eddie Pepperell in the group on three over and battling to make the cut.

Bad weather is expected for the second round in Wales, with a weather warning for strong winds issued by the Met Office and gust in excess of 40 miles per hour expected.

Watch the ISPS Handa Wales Open throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues on Friday from 1.30pm on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Mix.

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