McLeary close to disqualification before shooting best round of season

Jamie McLeary tees off at the 13th in Milan
Jamie McLeary tees off at the 13th in Milan
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Bonnyrigg-based Jamie McLeary came close to being disqualified before carding his best round of the season on the European Tour.

The 35-year-old opened with a four-under-par 67 in the Italian Open to sit three behind clubhouse leader Rikard Karlberg in a weather-hit first round in Milan.

The six-birdie effort raised McLeary’s hopes of staging a strong finish to the season as he battles to try and keep his seat at the top table in European golf. “I’m trying not to get too far ahead of myself this week as there is obviously a long way to go, but shooting good scores is good for the soul,” said McLeary. “Playing well lifts you in a way that nothing else can.”

He birdied three of the last five holes but added: “I was almost DQ’d on the ninth as I hit an approach shot about 15 yards over the back of the green. The referee was about to give me line of sight from a stand when a volunteer came up and told me it was out of bounds.

“It wasn’t on our planner or the local rules but it was. If I’d have let the referee give me a drop and I’d have played it I would have been out the tournament. I was steaming walking to the 10th tee after having to go back and play another ball but I managed to cool myself down by the 16th!”