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