It’s been a morning of low scores at the Turkish Airlines Challenge, with four players tied for the lead after the early groups returned to the clubhouse.
Ewen Ferguson, Josh Geary, Nathan Kimsey and Oscar Lengden all posted first round scores of six under par, while a further 39 players are under par after their first 18 holes.
New Zealand native Geary, who began his round on the tenth hole, looked set to hold the outright lead as he was eight under par with two holes to play, but after bogeying the eighth, he found the water on the ninth – his 18th – before saving a bogey to remain alongside the leaders.
Kimsey, from England, opened his round with back-to-back pars before making a birdie on the par three third, following it up with a bogey at the next hole.
He bounced back, however, carding three further birdies as he made the turn in 34. Six solid pars followed before a sublime finish of three consecutive birdies on the 16th, 17th and 18th holes ensured he soared up the leaderboard and join the front-runners on six under par.
Swede Lengden began his third European Challenge Tour event of the year in style, registering consecutive birdies on the first and second holes before a bogey at the third caused him to drop back to one under after three holes.
But an incredible run of five birdies in seven holes from the fifth to the 11th catapulted him up the leaderboard before eventually signing for a 66 after a bogey and a birdie in his final three holes.
Ferguson enjoyed an excellent bogey-free final nine holes with five pars and four birdies to tie for the lead, but it was his opening holes, played on the back nine, which laid the foundations for a dart up the leaderboard.
The Scot was one over after the first six holes following a bogey on the par four 11th, but then made a superb eagle at the par five 16th.
Ferguson is one of only three players to eagle the 542-yard 16th so far today and the 21 year old believes it made him feel more comfortable ahead of the back nine.
“I was on the 16th hole, the par five, and it was a really tough pin – front left, tough to get close – I hit a five-wood on the green and had about 40 feet for eagle,” he said.
“I was one over at that point after my first six holes and I holed it. Going from one over to one under really sets you up well.
“I then birdied the par five 18th, which was my ninth hole, so I was two under and I was thinking ‘I was one over a couple of holes ago’. Mentally, it made me feel really comfortable and confident.”
With near perfect conditions on the first day in Antalya scoring has been exceptional – you can follow the afternoon groups here.