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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

'Ivan the Terrible': Lendl Hits the Links

MARIANSKE LAZNE, Czech Republic -- Ivan Lendl said his first taste of European Tour golf was "five times worse than playing in a Wimbledon final."


Lendl, winner of eight grand slam tennis titles but no Wimbledons, shot an 11-over-par 82 in the first round of the Czech Open to trail a leading group of four by 15 shots.


"I was so tight out there, and I did not have enough skill to stop the slide when I began to slide at the third hole," said Lendl who began his round with a birdie.


"I was very nervous. ... I did not have enough experience and not enough confidence in my own ability.


"Yes, it is much worse than playing a Wimbledon final. Five times worse because in tennis I had confidence in what I was doing. Here I had nothing to base my confidence on."


But Lendl, a two handicapper, said he did not regret accepting a wild card to make his tour debut.


"I know the spectators were expecting something a little better, especially after I birdied the first hole. But that was just luck.


"I shall feel much better tomorrow. I may not shoot better but I shall definitely feel better."


Lendl, who retired from competitive tennis because of chronic back problems two years ago, made a dream start.


After missing the green on the right, he pitched over a bunker and saw the ball roll into the hole for a birdie three.


He parred the second but drove out of bounds at the third, drove into the trees with his second tee shot and ended with a three-over-par seven.


Following a par four at the fourth, he missed the green at each of the next five holes and bogeyed them all to turn in 41.


Italy's Emanuele Canonica, Englishman Jamie Spence and Scots Dean Robertson and Andrew Coltart shared the lead with 67s.