Jimenez joint leader, Thongchai off to good start at Euro Masters

Bangkok Post - - SPORTS -

>> RANS-MON­TANA: Miguel An­gel Jimenez fired a six-un­der-par 64 to be in a three-way tie for the lead af­ter the Euro­pean Masters first round on Thurs­day.

Aged 53, Jimenez had seven birdies and a sin­gle bo­gey on the pic­turesque Swiss Alps course to share the top of the leader­board with Tyrrell Hat­ton of Eng­land and Scott Hend of Aus­tralia.

Jimenez also com­petes on the se­nior tour and al­ready holds the Euro­pean Tour record as the old­est win­ner. At 50, his 2014 Span­ish Open ti­tle was his 21st on the tour.

Six play­ers were one shot be­hind the lead­ers, i nclud­ing Thongchai Jaidee of Thai­land. The Euro­pean Masters is also an Asian Tour event.

Among five play­ers on four un­der was Amer­i­can Daniel Im, who aced the 175-yard eighth hole with a 7-iron.

Two-time Euro­pean Masters cham­pion Alex Noren of Swe­den opened his ti­tle de­fence with a lev­el­par round.

In his 500th start on the Euro­pean Tour, Lee West­wood of Eng­land carded a one-over 71.

Thongchai said: “I hit a lot of good tee shots to­day. You have to keep the ball in play to score on this course. The fair­ways are quite tight so you need to keep the ball in play and hit as many greens as you can. I putted re­ally well. I didn’t miss any putts from three to four feet. That’s the key for me to­day and I gained a lot of con­fi­dence from the way I putted.

“It’s a good golf course. The greens are tricky. You have to be able to read the greens well. I worked well with my cad­die to­day. I am happy with the way I played. I en­joyed my­self out there. I had a good run of birdies out there, start­ing from the sev­enth.”

Thongchai Jaidee putts dur­ing the first round.

Moriya Ju­tanu­garn at the ninth hole.

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