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Martin cards course best 63 in title defense

CASCAIS, Portugal — Pablo Martin of Spain and Gregory Bourdy of France both shot eight-under par 63s to break the course record and lead after the first round of the Portuguese Open.

Defending champion Martin, who became the first amateur to win on the European Tour last year, carded eight birdies on the Oitavos Dunes course as he bids for a repeat, this time as a professional.

He is looking to emulate Aaron Baddeley at the Australian Open in 1999 and 2000 by following a victory as an amateur with a successful defense as a professional.

I like this place it seems, said Martin after grabbing his eighth birdie with a superb seven-iron to within a tap-in putt on the 474-yard last.

Bourdy also captured eight birdies in an 11-hole run from the sixth.

The course record of 64 had been equaled earlier in the day by Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano of Spain, who recorded three birdies in four holes and finished with three more in a row.

Fernandez-Castano is in joint third place with Jose Manuel Lara of Spain and Sweden’s Michael Jonzon on a day of low-scoring.

Simon Khan of England, Francois Delamontagne of France, Alastair Forsyth of Scotland and James Kamte and Charl Schwartzel of South Africa are a further shot back on six-under.

2006 Ryder Cup hero Darren Clarke looked like taking close order when he played his first nine holes in a mere 30 strokes, adding a 25-foot eagle putt on the 16th to four earlier birdies.

But after three-putting three times and also visiting the trees on the sixth, the Northern Ireland player had to settle for a 68.

My game is fine, but I’m wasting shots – any momentum I am getting I am giving back, he said. E-mail to a friend

Copyright 2008 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

Martin cards course best 63 in title defense – found here.

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April 3, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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