Golf: Super Mann sets the pace: British outsider makes big impression

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ROBIN MANN, a struggling professional from Ipswich, shot a five- under-par 67 for a share of the lead after the first round of the Tenerife Open yesterday. The 38-year-old from the Fynn Valley club, who went out early in the day, was matched later on by the Spanish veteran Jose-Maria Canizares. The two men held a one-stroke lead over another Spaniard, Diego Borrego, and Australia's Wayne Riley.

Mann, who finished 157th in the Order of Merit last season and failed by a stroke to win back his card at the Tour Qualifying School in November, recorded eight birdies while Canizares, who dropped just one shot all day, finished with two birdies on the last three holes. Riley would have made it a three- way tie had he not bogeyed the last.

Mann, who is financed by a consortium of seven Ipswich businessmen, said: 'I want to go out and beat the course and see if I can win some decent cheques. I felt my round could have been better but as it's the first of the year, I'll take a 67.'

Among those left behind by Mann were Ryder Cup players Mark James, the holder, and Jose-Maria Olazabal. James finished with a 71, while Olazabal's 73 included six birdies, five bogeys and a double bogey.

TENERIFE OPEN Leading first-round scores (GB or Irl unless stated): 67 R Mann, J-M Canizares (Sp). 68 D Borrego (Sp), W Riley (Aus). 69 B Malley (US), P Curry. 70 H P Thul (Ger), J Quiros (Sp), C Brooks, D Smyth, M Besanceney (Fr), S Cage, C Cavaer (Fr), D Ray. 71 C Williams, M Gronberg (Swe), M Pinero (Sp), A Collinson, J Metcalfe, A Hare, J Robson, G J Brand, M James, T Gogele (Ger), P Hedblom (Swe), M Roe, R Claydon, J-M Carriles (Sp). 72 D Williams, D J Russell, G Cali (It), R Berhorst (Ger), L Westwood, P Affleck, M Piltz (Fin), D Gilford, A Sandywell, G Ralph, P Talbot, C Stromberg (Swe), M Krantz (Swe), R Alvarez (Arg), P Lawrie, D Curry, C O'Connor Jnr, E O'Connell, H Selby-Green, A Lebouc (Fr). Selected: 73 J-M Olazabal (Sp), J Rivero (Sp). 79 P Broadhurst.