Cox leads Lancs Open after sickness 

GRAHAM Cox arose from his sick bed to continue his resurgent form when he set the first round pace in the £9,700 James Brearley Lancashire Open at wind-swept Blackpool North Shore with a three-under-par 68.

The 39-year-old Lymm-attached professional, winner of two events last month and runner-up in two others, conjured up a brace of birdies on each loop and erred only once with a bogey at the seventh.

But he revealed: “I was suffering from a sore throat for two days so I wasn’t able to practice. Fortunately I felt better once I’d got to the course although it was tough going at times.

“I started on the 10th tee without a blemish but it was tough on the second nine and I was fortunate to drop only one shot.”

Davenport’s Jamie Howarth carded 70 to lie in second place with Stamford’s Mark Smith and Mossock Hall’s David Shacklady a stroke back.

Title-holder Steve Parry, from Hart Common, posted 74 and was in a 9-way tie for 14th place.

LEADING SCORES: 68 Graham Cox (Lymm); 70 Jamie Howarth (Davenport); 71 Mark Smith (Stamford), David Shacklady (Mossock Hall); 72 Craig Corrigan (Chilli Dip Academy), Michael Jones (Bolton Old Links), Tim Dykes (Penrith); 73 Curtis Dean (Blackpool North Shore), Joe Senior (Heysham), Christopher Storey (American Golf), Jack Dudley (Village Urban Resort), David Smith (Swinton Park), Michael Ramsden (Renishaw Park).


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