Scott Jamieson felt his game was freed by removing extra layers of clothing from Austria to the Canary Islands and the Scot cashed in on the first day at the Gran Canaria Lopesan Open.
Jamieson’s six-under 64 at the Meloneras course came in starkly contrasting conditions to the freezing chill of Austria last week, and left him a shot off the lead shared by Joost Luiten, Joachim B Hansen and Maxmillian Keiffer.
‘It feels like I can move again’
“I’m sure I’ve gone soft now I live in America,” said the Florida-based Scot. “I took a bunch of clothes off from last week and it feels like I can move again. I’ve never been that cold on a golf course.
“I actually struggled to turn. One of my tendencies is to move my arms too much and not my body, so when you have more clothes on and it’s that cold, it’ll encourage you to turn less.”
Temperatures were much more to his liking this week. Scoring was low on the first day of the tournament hosted by Canaries native and former Ryder Cup player Rafael Cabrera Bello. But the tourist-style course was trickier than advertised, reckoned Jamieson.
“Scoring will be low but, personally, I don’t think it’ll be crazy low because the greens are really firm,” he said. “We’re also going to have some breeze from after the turn. It’s hard to hit it that close that often.
“Sure, every day there’s a couple of guys who go real low, but some of the guys are saying 58-59. I don’t see it.”
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‘Hitting to ten feet is a really good shot’
Jamieson felt he got off to slow start opening on the tenth. He failed to birdie that driveable par four and also the first par five.
“I actually felt that put me a little behind the eight ball early on,” he said. “I managed to sneak a couple before the turn. On my back nine I hit some nice wedge shots which made life a little easier.
“The wind makes it tougher to hit the fairways and you lose a bit of control going into the greens. 100 yards out, hitting to ten feet is a really good shot and you’ve still got to hole the putt.”
Jamieson feels he’s worked some consistency into his game in the last two years, but with his playing rights not an issue in that time he thinks it’s time to kick on.
“It does give me confidence,” he said. “The last couple of years I’ve been playing pretty good. Just maybe not the big finishes to turn a solid season into a good one or a great one.
“I’ve got to keep doing it over four rounds and get some big finishes.”
Hill’s fast start reined in
Perthshire’s Calum Hill, in his first event since going close and missing a play-off by a shot in South Africa last month, also began brightly and was four-under after a birdie at 11.
However Hill dropped shots at the next two holes. He parred his way in from there for a two-under 68, lying just inside the top 60 along with countrymen Grant Forrest, Richie Ramsay and David Drysdale.
Fife’s Connor Syme finished with a one-over par 71.