Fulke finds right touch to take lead

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The Independent Online

Pierre Fulke, of Sweden, fired a course record nine-under-par 63 here yesterday to take the early lead in the Scottish PGA Championship. Fulke, fully recovered from a wrist injury that kept him out for seven months, took advantage of perfect weather to slice a shot off the previous record of 64 set in Thursday's first round by Raphael Jacquelin of France.

Pierre Fulke, of Sweden, fired a course record nine-under-par 63 here yesterday to take the early lead in the Scottish PGA Championship. Fulke, fully recovered from a wrist injury that kept him out for seven months, took advantage of perfect weather to slice a shot off the previous record of 64 set in Thursday's first round by Raphael Jacquelin of France.

The 29-year-old Swede, seventh in the British Open at St Andrews last month in his fifth event since returning to the tour from injury in June, was 11 under par and three shots clear of Jacquelin, who had not begun his round when Fulke finished. Klas Eriksson, of Sweden, third last year, moved up to seven under, one behind Jacquelin, with a 67.

Fulke, whose only victory in nine years on the tour came at the Lancÿme Trophy last October, first felt the pain in his right wrist three weeks later at the Belgacom Open and withdrew after one round.

A subsequent four-event trip to Australia was curtailed after nine holes of the first event, but a surgeon who cut open his wrist found nothing structurally wrong.

After more pain, when he went to Dubai to practice during the winter, Fulke decided to consult a Swedish team chiropractor, Michael Jansch, who diagnosed referred pain from neck and back problems as the cause of the wrist trouble. After a series of treatments, Fulke was well enough to resume playing and he returned to the European Tour in June.

Highlight of his round was an eagle two at the 13th where a 190-yard five-iron second shot trickled into the hole. He also made eight birdies against just one bogey, when he took three putts from 45 feet at the eighth.

"My putting has started to work," the Swede said. "I'm not hitting my irons that close but I seem able to make the putts. But I probably played better at The Open. If I can continue to putt as well as I did today, I can shoot a low round again."

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