After a testing first day in the Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship, European Senior Tour star, Barry Lane, leads by three on six-under from Paul Lawrie

After a testing first day in the Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship, European Senior Tour star, Barry Lane, leads the way by three on six-under from Paul Lawrie.

On a short but testing course, made even more so by swirling breezes, Farmfoods British Par 3 debutant Barry Lane took the tournament by the scruff of the neck on a leaderboard that reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ of Europe’s main tours past and present.

Three behind Lane is Paul Lawrie, who shot an incredible 46 around the par-54 layout last year, with the large group a further two shots back featuring Robert Rock, Charley Hull, Peter Baker, Andrew Sherborne, Andrew Marshall and Sam Walker.

Nailcote Hall owner, Rick Cressman, explained at the Players’ Dinner last night that he had been trying to persuade Lane to play for the last 17 years and had finally got his man this year.

There is just a sense that a less in-depth knowledge of perhaps the most demanding 2,096 yards of golf in the UK is no bad thing!

“I’ve never played the course before – I only played nine holes last night and thought to myself, ‘this is going to be tricky’,” said Lane afterwards, “I’m really pleased with my round today.

“The course was certainly not forgiving and you can easily drop shots if you’re not accurate. I’ve not played for two weeks and wasn’t expecting to play so well.

“This is a great event – I couldn’t believe the crowds today, it really surprised me. I was playing with Tony Jacklin, which was a fantastic honour, and I really did have great fun.”

Later at the dinner, Lane told me he’d only missed two or three greens all round, and got up and down a couple of times when he did.

Anyone who’s ever played the course will know what a remarkable achievement that is! Lane packed eight birdies into his round, including four in a row from the 13th.

Equally remarkable was Lawrie’s round, which featured just three birdies, but no dropped shots.

Past British Par 3 Champions, Baker and Sherborne, set the pace at one-under earlier in the day, while huge crowds watched 2014 Ladies European Tour Order of Merit winner Charley Hull join them on the group at one-under later on.

Today, someone will walk off with the £25,000 top prize won by Eddie Pepperell and Tommy Fleetwood in the last two years, with the weather set to be a little more unsettled than yesterday’s glorious sunshine.

I will be enjoying a front-row seat on all the action as I partner Tony Johnstone, who shot four-over yesterday, in the pro-am format, teeing off at 11.50am.