Unheralded French golfer Vaillant shoots 8-under 64 to lead Bahrain Championship

RIFFA, Bahrain (AP) — French golfer Tom Vaillant has birdied eight of his final 13 holes to shoot a bogey-free 8-under 64 and take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Bahrain Championship. Vaillant is ranked No. 454 and playing his first full season on the European tour. He moved into first place late in the day at the Royal Golf Club to overtake Zander Lombard of South Africa and Joel Girrbach of Switzerland. They both had 65s. Rasmus Hojgaard is the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 70 and he shot 67 to be three strokes off the lead in a tie for eighth. The Bahrain Championship is the tour’s latest stop in the Middle East.

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