Two-time champion Matt Fitzpatrick is part of a six-way tie for the lead after a low-scoring opening day at the Omega European Masters.
The Englishman put on a brilliant display as he carded a bogey-free 63 that left him at seven-under-par alongside countryman Eddie Pepperell, Dane John Axelsen, Spaniard Nacho Elvira, Malaysia’s Gavin Green and Japanese Masahiro Kawamura.
Fitzpatrick told the media he was delighted with his day’s work. “I played brilliantly. I Only hit two bad shots, one I got away with and one I got up and down, so that’s as good as I’ve played for a while.
“I made a good par save on 13 but missed a couple of putts for that score as well. I feel comfortable out there, it’s so nice to be back.
“On the sixth, that might be the first time I’ve driven the green there even though I hit driver all the time. It was a nice one to hit. Two great tee shots on six and seven left me good opportunities for birdies. It was a good last three holes, solid. I’m just happy to keep playing the way I was”, he said.
Fitzpatrick is targeting a historic victory at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club – after claiming the title back-to-back in 2017 and 2018 to match the feat of Seve Ballesteros, a win in the mountains this week would see him once again join the legendary Spaniard, this time as the only players to have won the title three times.
Swede Ludvig Aberg, Scotland’s Scott Jamieson and German Yannik Paul are a shot off the lead in Crans Montana, with more on the line than just the trophy this week in the final qualifying event for the European Ryder Cup team.
Fitzpatrick needs to finish tied seventh or better to overtake Tommy Fleetwood to qualify via the World Points List, while Paul will replace Robert MacIntyre, who shot 2-under-par today, in the final qualifying spot on the European Points List with a win, although he could be heading to Rome if he finishes in a tie for third with two others or better.
Padraig Harrington is the best of the Irish after day one in Switzerland after shooting a three-under 67. Harrington combined four birdies with one bogey to sit just outside the top 30.
Tom McKibbin and John Murphy are both one shot further back after a pair of 68s.
Fitzpatrick gets his second round underway at 8.30am local time, 7,30am Irish time off the 10th tee. Harrington and McKibbin get their second rounds underway at 13.20pm and 13.30pm local time respectively with John Murphy getting his second round started at 9.40am local time.