Mixed bag of a round leaves Calum Hill leapfrogged in Spain

Calum Hill plays his second shot at the 13th holeCalum Hill plays his second shot at the 13th hole
Calum Hill plays his second shot at the 13th hole
Francesco Laporta leads after opening round of the Grand Final in Mallorca.

Calum Hill was leapfrogged in the projected end-of-season Challenge Tour standings by Italian Francesco Laporta after the opening round of the Grand Final in Mallorca.

Hill, who had reclaimed the top spot by finshing third in the final regular event of the season in China, had an up-and-down day at Club de Golf Alcanada in Port d’Alcúdia.

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The recenty-turned 25-year-old carded an eagle and two birdies but also had two double-bogeys and two bogeys as he had to settle for a two-over-par 73.

That left Hill, who is attached to Gleneagles Hotel,sititng joint-15th alongside compatriot Connor Syme on a day when Ewen Ferguson fared best among the three Scots in the field with a 71 to sit in joint-eight.

Syme, who won in Turkey at the start of the season, sits 12th in the battle for 15 European Tour cards, with Ferguson in 23rd in the standings.

Laporta, meanwhile, birdied three of the last four holes for a 68 to lead by a shot from Welshman Rhys Enoch and Spaniard Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez.

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Elsewhere, Bradley Neil and Euan Walker took pride of place among the Scottish contingent in the European Tour Qualifying School second-stage events in Spain.

Neil, who is bidding to climb back up the ladder after holding a European Tour card in 2018, shot a six-under-par 66 to share the lead at Alenda Golf while rookie pro Walker opened with a six-under 65 at Las Colinas to sit one off the lead in joint-second.

Ryan Lumsden, another new recruit to the paid ranks, is handily-placed at Club de Bonmont, lying joint-fourth after a three-under 69.

Daniel Young, meanwhile, is lying in the top ten at Desert Springs, where he also played in last week’s PGA EuroPro Tour Championship and opened on this occasion with a five-under 67.