Thomas Bjorn shoots bogey-free 64 to lead Celebrity Classic in Texas

thomas bjorn shoots bogey-free 64 to lead celebrity classic in texas

Thomas Bjorn of Denmark watches his tee shot on the second hole during the Invited Celebrity Classic at Las Colinas Country Club in Irving, Texas. – AFP

Thomas Bjorn of Denmark fired seven birdies during a bogey-free 64 on Friday to lead the Invited Celebrity Classic at Irving, Texas.

Bjorn holds a one-shot lead over a quartet of players at Las Colinas Country Club, the premier golf and country club in North Texas.

Jerry Kelly, Clark Dennis, England’s Paul Broadhurst and South Korea’s Y.E. Yang were in the group who shot 65.

Bjorn, who won the Dubai Desert Classic in 2001,had four birdies on the front nine and three on the back in his first tournament since playing in Morocco in late February.

“Yeah, a bit surprised really because I haven’t really played any tournament golf since Morocco, so it’s been a while,” Bjorn said. “I didn’t really know where I was at coming in here. It felt nice in practice. I got out there and calmed it all down with a couple of early birdies and just played golf.”

But one good round doesn’t make a weekend. Bjorn finished second in Morocco and is hoping to finish one spot higher in the Dallas-area tourney.

“You tee it up to win golf tournaments, and you want to get yourself in that frame of mind,” Bjorn said. “That’s why all of the players out here, they want to get in contention. The only thing you can do the first day or the first couple days is play yourself out of it. You’ve got to be in there with a chance.

“There’s still a few things that needs to be ironed out, but the score was very good, and that’s obviously very positive.”

Broadhurst started on the back nine and had four birdies and two bogeys over his first nine holes. He later birdied No. 3 and added three straight, Nos. 5 through 7, to conclude an eight-birdie round.

Broadhurst was conscious that weather reports aren’t favorable for Saturday so he wanted to be high on the leaderboard in case the tournament gets shortened.

“It was important to get off to a good start in case it may end up being 36 holes,” Broadhurst said. “I don’t know, but we’ll have to see what happens tomorrow. It doesn’t look very good I don’t think from the forecast. But yeah, we’ll just see. I’ve been in this position a few times recently, and I’ve not taken advantage. It’s important to keep this going now.”

Kelly carded seven birdies over his last 11 holes. He had a bogey on 13 — his fourth hole of the day — before later settling into a groove.

“I was happy to have adrenaline, but it was sending me all over the place, which was awesome. I loved having it,” Kelly said. “I knew once I could kind of button things up and start harnessing it that I could play well, so that’s what happened.”

Yang carded nine birdies and three bogeys, while Dennis bogeyed No. 2 and later had seven birdies over his last 10 holes.

In the celebrity competition, 2022 champion and former tennis pro Mardy Fish is in the lead at plus-37 in the Stableford scoring system. World Golf Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstram is second at plus-35.

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