Malaysia’s Gavin Green enjoyed a strong start to the Czech Masters for the second successive year as he took a one-shot lead after the opening round at Albatross Golf Resort.
Green matched last year’s first-round tally of 64 with an equally impressive showing Thursday, finishing eight under par to clinch the solo lead after 18 holes.
The 25-year-old remains a shot clear of England’s Lee Slattery and South Africa’s Erik Van Rooyen, who both shot 65 to sit seven under par going into Friday’s second round.
A group of six players, including Italy’s Edoardo Molinari, sit a further shot back at six under par, while former champion Thomas Pieters and Bernd Wiesberger head another grouping at five under. Defending champion Andrea Pavan made a flawless start to his week with a four-under-par 68.
Green was one of four players to match the course record with an opening 64 at last year’s event and went on to finish third overall in Prague. After a short break from the European Tour’s gruelling schedule, he is aiming to go one better this time around.
“I’ve been enjoying myself at home the last few weeks, eating a lot, sleeping a lot and driving my car — just being a regular person as opposed to practising all the time,” Green told the European Tour’s official website. “I didn’t practise for two weeks so a complete shut down, just enjoying life.
“I don’t know what it is about this place. I think the course suits me well and it helps if you hit it a little longer and a little higher. It helps to be able to stop the ball on the greens. If you get a good drive away you just have a wedge in your hand and you can take advantage of that.
“It was obviously a really good opening round, I just kept everything in play and hit a lot of shots close to the pins so I didn’t have a hard putt. I gave myself a lot of looks at birdies and thankfully it turned out okay.”