Elson shows signs of fulfilling his promise

A few years ago Jamie Elson was stacking supermarket shelves as he, and golf, waited for his talent to bear the fruits it always promised. At last the Englishman appears to be blossoming.

A 65 in the first round of the Andalucian Open in Malaga yesterday gave him an early share of the lead with his countryman Robert Rock and the Swede Johan Edfors. The trio all posted five-under-par rounds to be one in front of Scotland's former Open champion Paul Lawrie.

For Elson the start was particularly welcome, seeing as he is only in the tournament thanks to his top-10 finish at the Sicilian Open on Monday. He played the outward half first in 30 and picked up another shot at the long 12th. In trouble off the tee at the last, he pitched to 10 feet and made the par putt.

The 29-year-old was a Walker Cup team-mate of Luke Donald and Graeme McDowell a decade ago, but has yet to make a real impact as a professional and lost his Tour card last season. Elson has already had two top-five finishes this year, however, and said: "I made some ground-breaking changes to my swing over Christmas because my 'fairways hit' stats last year were abysmal. I'm delighted. The first time I had a card was 2004 and perhaps it came a bit early for me. I didn't really know what I was doing."

Rock's prog-ress has been so much more consistent although he has now gone 197 European Tour events without a victory (he did walk away from the 2009 Irish Open with the winner's cheque because amateur Shane Lowry was the player who beat him).

The 33-year-old turned only in level par, but then covered the shorter front nine in just 29 strokes with birdies at the second, third, fourth, seventh and eighth.

Lawrie's four birdies in a row from the 11th included a chip-in and he then kept a bogey off his card to tuck in just off the pace. "This is only my sixth event of the year, so I've had a lot of time off," said the Aberdeen golfer. "The schedule has not suited me so far."

Meanwhile, Colin Montgomerie and Jose Maria Olazabal, past and present Ryder Cup captains, both shot 70, while Monday's Sicilian Open winner Raphaël Jacquelin fired a 68.

Suggested Topics
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas