Sherman finds the answer blowing in the wind

Paul Sherman took the opportunity to beat par for the first time at San Roque and it brought him the lead after a blustery opening day of the European Tour Qualifying School in Spain yesterday.

Paul Sherman took the opportunity to beat par for the first time at San Roque and it brought him the lead after a blustery opening day of the European Tour Qualifying School in Spain yesterday.

Sherman, 28, from Ashford in Kent, where his father Hugh is head pro, defied a stiff breeze to register a six-under-par 66 and lead by one from another Englishman, Paul Streeter. Making his fourth visit to the end-of-season battle for tour cards - he has yet to succeed - Sherman raced home in 30 shots with six birdies in seven holes from the turn.

"This is the first time I've broken par here but you've got to get stuck in and persevere," he said. "I was 23rd after four rounds last year but had a bad fifth day with 81 and that was that. I was eventually 60th or something. It's definitely not fun but now five days of rain will suit me fine."

Streeter, the 33-year-old from Grantham, carded a five-under-par 67 in blustery conditions at Sotogrande which proved more than most could cope with. He started from the 10th tee and stormed out in 31 with five birdies and just nine putts. He was not so impressive coming home but an even-par 36 was good enough for the best return at Sotogrande.

Justin Rose did not have the best of starts with 74 at Sotogrande, twice hitting shots out of bounds. But he will take heart in the knowledge that he started with the same score last year before going on to finish fourth and gain his card.

"I just played poorly," he said. "I only hit 10 greens but it could have been worse to be honest. I've been swinging the club awesome so today was a bit of a disappointment. But I'm no worse off than last year and there's still five rounds to go."

Russell Claydon also struggled at Sotogrande, returning 78, including an inward 42.

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