Tullo determined to play the best golf despite making European Tour cut

Chilean has qualified for the European Tour but wants to make his early lead for the Dubai finale of the Challenge Tour count at Al Badia Club.
Mark Tullo shot 4-under 68 to take the first-round lead at Al Badia Golf Club. Courtesy DFC Challenge Tour
Mark Tullo shot 4-under 68 to take the first-round lead at Al Badia Golf Club. Courtesy DFC Challenge Tour

Mark Tullo carded a 4-under 68 to move into the first-round lead at the Dubai Festival City Challenge Tour Grand Final at Al Badia Golf Club yesterday.

Tullo recorded six birdies and an eagle to move one shot clear, continuing an impressive run of form for the Chilean, which has yielded top-10 finishes in five of his last six events.

He finished third in consecutive starts prior to the developmental Challenge Tour’s season finale this week in Dubai.

Tullo started the week at sixth in the Challenge Tour points rankings, but No 1 is within reach if he wins and other results go his way.

“It was a good day out there,” Tullo said. “I had a couple of mistakes out on the greens, but you make some and you miss some. It was a solid round. I hit it good off the tee and hit my irons pretty close.

“It wasn’t the easiest of days, the wind was blowing a little bit and there were some tricky shots, but I played really solid.”

Tullo has already earned enough prize money this season to guarantee that he will be playing on the European Tour next season, with cards available to the final top 15 in earnings after this week, but he has no intention of taking his foot off the gas.

“Once I reached that number which secured my European Tour card, I just wanted to keep on going and I could have been up there challenging for the title the last three weeks, so I’m right there,” he said. “I’m just trying to play the best golf I can.

Englishman Max Orrin, who secured his spot in this week’s field courtesy of his win at the Golf Classic in Oman last weekend, is also riding a wave of momentum.

He opened with a 69 to claim in a share of second place with Lasse Jensen od Denmark and Oliver Farr of Wales.

“I’ve obviously got no experience of a win and then playing the next week, but it’s been fun and difficult at the same time,” Orrin said.

England’s William Harrold, who was out first in the morning, having just scraped into the field at No 44 in the rankings prior to the start of play, finished with a 2-under 70 to share fifth place with Frenchmen Edouard Espana and Benjamin Herbert.

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Published: November 6, 2014 04:00 AM

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