Felipe Aguilar takes 2-shot lead but promising Chesters lurks at Lyoness Open

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Felipe Aguilar takes 2-shot lead but promising Chesters lurks at Lyoness Open

Euro Tour

Felipe Aguilar takes 2-shot lead but promising Chesters lurks at Lyoness Open

Just when we thought there were too many young Englishmen on the European Tour, another one pops up to remind us the English talent pool is deep.

Ashley Chesters sits just two shots off the lead after the opening round of the $1.1 million Lyoness Open in Austria. The event near Vienna might be a bottom of the food chain European Tour event, but don’t be surprised if Chesters is eating from Europe’s top table one day soon.

Felipe Aguilar holds the outright lead after an opening 7-under 65. The 42-year-old Chilean recorded eight birdies and just one bogey. He is seeking his third European Tour victory.

Chesters is tied for second at 5 under with South Africa’s Jaco Van Zyl and Sweden’s Johan Carlsson, who shared the first-round lead two weeks ago in the BMW PGA Championship.

Englishmen Oliver Wilson and Graeme Storm are tied for fifth at 4 under with Joel Stalter of France.

Chesters went bogey-free in the opening round. He had two birdies on the front nine and three on the back. He’ll be keen to build on that to make the best start to his rookie season.

The 27-year-old Shrewsbury, England, native gained his card at last year’s European Tour Qualifying School with a 17th-place finish. He enters his rookie year with high expectations after an outstanding amateur career.

Chesters made history in 2014 when he became the first player to successfully defend the European Amateur Championship title. Those two wins paved the way for Chesters to play in two Open Championships. He missed the cut in 2014 before notching a 12th-place finish at St. Andrews in 2015.

The 6-foot-3-inch player played a key part in Great Britain & Ireland’s Walker Cup victory at Royal Lytham in 2015, earning three and a half points out of a possible four. He was so key to the GB&I team that captain Nigel Edwards put him out first in every session.

While Chesters is just starting his career, Wilson is trying to revive his. The former Augusta State (since renamed Augusta University) player was on the 2008 European Ryder Cup team, but then saw his game go downhill. He came back with a bang in 2014 when he won the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. The two-year exemption for winning that event ran out last year, and Wilson missed his card at the Qualifying School. He is playing limited starts this year as a result.

Home favorite Bernd Wiesberger is tied for 21st after an opening 70.

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