IAN Woosnam goes into the second round of the Wales Senior Open on Saturday five shots off the pace following a level par 70 on the Celtic Manor’s Roman Road course.

The former Masters champion was the best placed of the home golfers after today's first 18 holes, two shots clear of Mark Mouland and four better off than Newport’s Paul Mayo.

Royal Porthcawl’s Peter Evans and the host club’s Glyn Davies carded scores of 77 and 79 respectively to leave them well down the leaderboard.

South African Chris Williams led at the end of day one thanks to a superb five-under-par round of 65.

Having birdied the third and ninth holes, Williams picked up four shots on the back-nine – his only blemish came with a bogey at the 13th.

Woosnam’s opening round featured four birdies but was bookended by dropped shots at the first and last.

He also recorded bogeys at holes six and 11, and the Welshman admitted afterwards that he is not playing at his best by any means.

“Level-par is not too bad,” he said. “I didn’t play particularly well but it’s very tricky out there.

“The greens are pretty firm and if you get yourself in the wrong position it’s easy to drop a shot.

“I left a couple of shots out there but also gained a couple so it evened up.”

He went on to add: “I’m not playing very well at the moment.

“I’m trying a new swing out and hitting some good ones, but I’m also hitting some bad ones.”

Former Newport Golf Club pro Mayo, who is now attached to Pontnewydd, wasn’t too pleased with his four-over-par 74.

Mayo could only managed one birdie, that coming at the par-four 10th, but did come home with a solid run of six pars.

Meanwhile, Davies endured a torrid first day, letting shots slip away at regular intervals to leave himself 14 behind leader Williams, who is two clear of China’s Zhang Lianwei and England’s Malcolm MacKenzie.

Play in Newport resumes on Saturday before Sunday's third and final round.