Handa Wales Open @ Celtic Manor, Lee Slattery leads after 1st Round May 31 2012

Lee Slattery leads the Handa Wales Open at Celtic Manor after his opening round -4 under par ,67 on this par 71 layout in Wales. He leads by just one shot from Germany's Marcel Siem and Tim Sluiter of the Netherlands. Marcel is the only German in the field this week and after a good start is in position to contend for the title. Strangely enough a Welshman has never won his National title, although they usually figure strongly in the event. Alex Noren is bidding to make history by becoming the first player to successfully defend the ISPS Handa Wales Open, but at +10 for his opening round it is pretty safe to say he will not be around at the weekend. Lee Slattery  (Getty Images)

Lee Slattery (Getty Images)

The thirty-three year old Lee Slattery's performance comes just three days after shooting 66 at Walton Heath to earn himself a US Open Championship debut. Today he had only one dropped shot, but nobody got round unscathed, Lee  spoke of his day;

 "It was very difficult. The wind was stronger than anticipated and if you get round without a bogey it's an amazing achievement."

Lee is planning for a trip to San Francisco for the US Open;

I know Olympic Club is going to be difficult, but I'm really looking forward to it. It's more the atmosphere. I remember The Open at Hoylake (his only previous Major was there in 2006) and I thrived on it."

In-form German Marcel Siem,  who has already had five top-12 finishes this season and was in the lead going into the final round here two years ago, said:

“It was gusty, windy and there were firm greens, so three under was good.  It’s really nice to play out here. I love the course and I've had a lot of very good rounds here already. The greens are firm, which suits my high ball flight. You have to think a bit more around the course now because it's a lot firmer and the traps are in play all of a sudden.”