Scotland's Sam Torrance made a classy return to European Seniors Tour action at The Gloria Classic in Turkey today (fri) after battling back from a career-threatening injury.
Torrance, number one on the Order of Merit in each of the previous two years, is not fully recovered from a serious hand injury but still managed to negotiate the New Course at Gloria Golf Resort without dropping a shot, his three under par 69 seeing him finish the day two shots off the pace.
Tony Johnstone of Zimbabwe, a former winner of the PGA Championship at Wentworth Club, Stewart Ginn of Australia, a Senior Major winner on the US Champions Tour, and Delroy Cambridge of Jamaica share the lead after rounds of 67.
For Torrance it was only his second competitive outing since November last year when he was first struck down by a painful index finger on his right hand.
He missed the opening event of the 2007 European Seniors Tour in Barbados, but after successfully completing 18 holes in Turkey he was feeling much happier about the future.
The former Ryder Cup Captain, who picked up his shots at the second, third and 18th holes, said: "My hand isn't great but it's on the mend. I was told six weeks ago it was arthritis, then I was told two weeks ago that no way was it arthritis.
"I was put in touch with a guy from New Zealand and he has done a lot of manipulation work from my finger up my forearm, bending it out and stretching it. It's 70 per cent better and in addition he has given me some herbal medication to take.
"I can no longer do my waggle (at address), but these are the things you have to put up with when you are an old man. Three months ago I really wasn't that sure whether I would play again. I didn't want to let that out, so I'm delighted to be back. I played really solid today and only missed one green."
Round One scores:
67 Stewart Ginn (Aus), Tony Johnstone (Zim), Delroy Cambridge (Jam)
68 Horacio Carbonetti (Arg), Bobby Lincoln (RSA)
69 Eamonn Darcy (Ire), Adan Sowa (Arg), Terry Gale (Aus), Bob Cameron (Eng), José Rivero (Esp), Sam Torrance (Sco), John Chillas (Sco)
70 Doug Johnson (USA), Luis Carbonetti (Arg), Gordon J Brand (Eng), Juan Quiros (Esp), Andrew Murray (Eng), Guillermo Encina (Chi), Martin Gray (Sco), Martin Poxon (Eng), John Mashego (RSA)
71 Angel Fernandez (Chi), Pete Oakley (USA), Bob Lendzion (USA), Bob Larratt (Eng), Bill Longmuir (Sco), Denis O'Sullivan (Ire), Peter Teravainen (USA), Giuseppe Cali (Ita), Ross Drummond (Sco), Nick Job (Eng), Emilio Rodriguez (Esp), David Creamer (Eng)
72 David J Russell (Eng), Jerry Bruner (USA), Bruce Heuchan (Can), Bill McColl (Sco), David Good (Aus)
73 Steve Martin (Sco), Ian Mosey (Eng), Simon Owen (Nzl), Denis Durnian (Eng), Gavan Levenson (RSA), Carl Mason (Eng), Jim Rhodes (Eng), Gery Watine (Fra), David Merriman (Aus), Tony Charnley (Eng), Jim Lapsley (Nzl)
74 Ray Carrasco (USA), John Benda (USA), Jean Pierre Sallat (Fra), Victor Garcia (Esp), Glenn Ralph (Eng)
75 Kevin Spurgeon (Eng), Tommy Horton (Eng), Manuel Piñero (Esp), Eddie Polland (NIr), Tony Allen (Eng), Alberto Croce (Ita)
76 Philippe Dugeny (Fra), Antonio Garrido (Esp), Bill Malley (USA)
77 Jimmy Heggarty (NIr), Mike Ferguson (Aus), Noel Ratcliffe (Aus)
78 Mike Miller (Sco), Maurice Bembridge (Eng)
79 Malcolm Gregson (Eng), Tim Rastall (Eng)
80 Nigel Burch (Eng)
81 Bertus Smit (RSA)
92 Remzi Irier (Tur)
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