Re: The Yevgeny Kafelnikov Thread
Whitehouse sets Moscow pace, Kafelnikov battles
NAKHABINO, Russia (Reuters) - Britain's Tom Whitehouse fired a six-under-par 66 to take a one-shot lead in the Russian Open first round on Thursday as former tennis world number one Yevgeny Kafelnikov toiled on his European Tour debut.
Whitehouse overcame pain in his right wrist to rack up seven birdies and a solitary bogey at the par-four sixth, ending the day one stroke clear of a group of five players including fellow Englishman Iain Pyman.
Swedes Mikael Lundberg and Fredrik Widmark, Briton David Drysdale and Spaniard Jesus Maria Arruti also returned 67s to share second place at Moscow Country Club in suburban Nakhabino.
"I woke up this morning with a lot of pain on the inside of my wrist but I just gritted my teeth for the first nine holes, to be honest. It kind of eased off as I went round," Whitehouse said.
"I could still feel it and I hit some strange shots," added the 25-year-old, who bogeyed a sixth hole.
Pyman made a flying start with an eagle three at the second hole before adding six birdies and three bogeys.
"I hit a good drive and then a two-iron to the edge of the green at the second and I managed to chip in from there for eagle," said Pyman, who won here twice in 1999 and 2002.
"But I bogeyed the sixth after getting a horrendous lie in the bunker from where I had to play out sideways."
Most of the 156-strong field struggled on the 7,154-yard layout as heavy rain fell for much of the day but Whitehouse was not bothered over the unpredictable Moscow weather.
"These conditions are exactly how we played the last two rounds last year," he said.
"I played with Andrew Coltart in the final two rounds, we played 36 holes on the Sunday, and it was worse than it was today."
Amateur Kafelnikov, who received a wild card entry into the $500,000 tournament, experienced a difficult day.
The 31-year-old Russian, who retired from professional tennis last year, carded a 16-over-par 88 -- the second worst score of the round.
"At least I'm not last," he said. "That was the main thing."
Multiple PGA Tour winner David Frost of South Africa also struggled before signing for a 75 while Britain's former Ryder Cup player Coltart returned a level-par 72.