By David Roberts
Oliver Farr may have to pinch himself when he looks at the exalted company he is keeping near the top of the leader board in the Hero Open at the Forest of Arden club.
The 32-year-old Welshman was hot on the heels of the Spanish Armada – Sebastien Garcia Rodriguez, Pablo Larrazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez – in Birmingham after shooting a seven under par 65 in the opening round.
That was one shot behind Jimenez, making his record 707th appearance in a European Tour event, and Larrazabal, and three behind the leader, Garcia Rodriguez, who shot a course record 62.
“I didn’t actually play that well, but my putter was good and that’s a really good start to the week,” said Farr, who shot eight birdies and will start his second round at 2.30pm on Friday.
“I used to come to these tournaments when I was a kid so to be playing this venue is pretty cool. I’ve been playing quite nicely, although last week I didn’t play great and that was a shock.
“Now we’re back to sort of normal, I’m practicing a bit more at home and doing things that I should be doing as a golf professional. Last week just didn’t feel great, but we’re closer to home this week and I’m feeling pretty good.”
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) July 31, 2020
Farr missed the cut at the British Masters in Northumberland last week and could do with a cash injection after picking up €13,619 euros from five tournaments last year and €19,383 euros to date in 2020 from six events.
With €1,000,000 euros prize money from this competition he could land a very welcome windfall if he can stay with the leaders.
His father, Graham Farr, is the professional at the Worcester Golf & Country Club and played on the European tour before him. He acts as his mentor.
Further down the leader board there are two other Welshmen in the field.
Rhys Enoch is tied 17th on -4 after a round of 68, while Jamie Donaldson is tied 78th after shooting a par round of 72.