Dodd reaches Alps summit
Lyndsey HewisonThetford's Lawrence Dodd has made a dream start to the new season with a three-stroke victory in his first event on the Alps Tour. The tournament professional produced a stunning 21 birdies and an eagle and was 17-under par for the 54-hole Open de Mogador in Morocco.Lyndsey Hewison
Thetford's Lawrence Dodd has made a dream start to the new season with a three-stroke victory in his first event on the Alps Tour.
The tournament professional produced a stunning 21 birdies and an eagle and was 17-under par for the 54-hole Open de Mogador in Morocco.
"It was my first professional win and it was really nice to do it in that kind of style," said Dodd. "It's definitely the best performance I have ever put together over an entire tournament.
"I was overjoyed that all the hard work had paid off - and it was a huge relief. I've always known I was a good player but to put those scores together and to win was a huge boost to my confidence."
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Dodd travelled to Morocco with high hopes after a winter of good practice - and was rewarded by quickly finding top form. But, he had to maintain those standards through a stop-start tournament which was badly affected by very wet and windy weather.
The first day's play was completely washed out. The next day was dry and tournament organisers decided to make the most of the weather, asking the players to complete 18 holes and then continue straight in to their second round. The following day was again washed out.
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Dodd was not fazed. He shot 68 in his first round and covered 11 holes of his second round before darkness stopped play. When he eventually returned to play the remaining seven holes he completed an impressive 64.
"It was a bit spread out!" he said. "I was more nervous about the re-start than I was in the final round - I'd had a day without hitting a ball and I wondered if I was still going to produce the same form."
In the third and final round he returned 67, including three birdies in his last five holes. They proved crucial, helping Dodd to break clear of Scotland's Gavin Dear. The two players had matching scores in the first two rounds and had been neck and neck for much of the last round.
The victory takes Dodd straight to the top of the Alps Tour order of merit. "It's been a bit of a dream start," he said.
Dodd, who is sponsored by Bury St Edmunds based G Signs & Design and Hayden Environment Services, had an impressive amateur career before turning professional. He was the Greek amateur champion and represented England in the European youths' championship and in a winning Home International side. He turned professional in 2006 and his ultimate goal is to compete on the European Tour.