British Masters: Fleetwood shares first-round lead

Four players lead a bunched British Masters board on day one at The Grove. 

Andy Roberts's picture
Thu, 13 Oct 2016
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Tommy Fleetwood celebrates a birdie at the final hole to share the first-round lead (Photo; Getty Images) 

England's Tommy Fleetwood carded a blemish-free 66 to share the lead with three others on day one of the British Masters supported by Sky Sports at The Grove.

Fleetwood, 25, went out in 32 following birdies at the first, second and ninth, before adding two more on the closing four holes to reach the magic 5-under mark. 

The Englishman joins Scotland's Marc Warren, Finland's Mikko Ilonen and South Africa's Richard Sterne in a share of the clubhouse lead. 

FIRST-ROUND LEADERBOARD

-5 T Fleetwood (Eng), M Ilonen (Fin), M Warren (Sco), R Sterne (SA)
-4 A Noren (Swe), A Johnston, L Slattery, D Horsey, L Westwood, R Bland, J Morrison (Eng)
-3 S Jamieson (Sco), S Lowry, G McDowell (NI), T Hatton, C Wood, A Wall (Eng), G Bourdy (Fra), B Wiesberger (Aut), S Kjeldsen (Den)

"The wind was up this afternoon and then it got cold later on in the day, but definitely when we first went out, it was clear that it was going to be quite a tough day," said Fleetwood, who won his only European Tour title at the 2013 Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles. 

"You have to make the most of your chance. I hit it really well. I very rarely hit it out of position and putted lovely. It was just one of those days where every putt I hit felt lovely and overall, five-under is a great score out there."

Fleetwood's countrymen Lee Slattery, David Horsey, Lee Westwood, James Morrison, Andrew Johnston and Richard Bland finished a further shot off the pace alongside in-form Swede Alex Noren, who eagled the final hole. 
 

Fresh off a top-five finish last week, Marc Warren shared the first-round lead in Watford (Photo: Getty Images))

For Warren, this week's British Masters feels like a free game having secured his Tour card for next season with a solo fifth at last week's Dunhill Links Championship.

"I wasn't really under too much stress at any time during the round, so it was a really enjoyable round of golf," said Warren, whose only bogey of the day came at the 9th, his final hole of the day.

"Bogeys probably don't mean quite so much (after last week). It's tough when you're in that sort of situation when you're trying to secure your playing rights and everything else.

"I felt as if I handled that quite well last week and gave myself a nice boost of confidence after a pretty tough summer. So I've carried that confidence into today and hopefully the next three days, as well."

Elsewhere, tournament-favourite Bernd Wiesberger carded a solid 68 to sit tied 12th with eight others including last week's Dunhill Links champion Tyrrell Hatton, former US Open champion Graeme McDowell and BMW PGA champion Chris Wood

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