Callum Shinkwin is looking to win his third DP World Tour event
Shinkwin fires 10-under 62 to take early lead in Ras Al Khaimah
Callum Shinkwin carded a course-record equalling ten under par 62 to take a two stroke lead after day one at the Ras Al Khaimah Championship.
Starting his day on the back nine, Shinkwin began his round with three consecutive pars before birdieing ten of his next 11 holes at Al Hamra Golf Club. His run of eight birdies in a row was one shy of equalling the DP World Tour’s record, and he also threatened an historic 59 as he reached ten under par with four holes to play. The 30-year-old Londoner played his final four holes in level par, recovering from a bogey at the seventh hole with his 11th birdie of the day at the eighth to set the pace at ten under.
Shinkwin’s compatriot Richard Mansell made a fast start as he covered his front nine in just 29 strokes with three birdies and two eagles, including a hole-out from a bunker on the 18th, his ninth hole. He carded birdies on the third, fifth and seventh holes to join Shinkwin on ten under par before a double bogey on the eighth saw him settle for second place after the first round.
Speaking after shooting the join lowest round of his pro career, Shinkwin said: “It’s not always easy to get a 59 on a par 72. I just kept going, making birdie after birdie. I was a bit gutted about dropping that shot at the seventh. It is quite an easy tee shot with no wind, but with the little bit of wind that was out there, I just had to fiddle one in there.
He added: “I like playing in the Middle East. Coming off a British winter it always puts a spring in your step to be playing in the sunshine.”
South Africa’s Brandon Stone joined Mansell in a share of second as he carded seven birdies and an eagle in his eight under par round of 64. In fourth place, one stroke behind on seven under par, are Ricardo Gouveia of Portugal, Frenchman Frederic Lacroix and Germany’s Freddy Schott.
At the other end of the leaderboard defending champion Daniel Gavins looks unlikely to make the cut after shooting a first round 78 that left him in second to last place.