Maximilian Kieffer fired his lowest opening round in five years to take the lead after day one of the Omega European Masters.
The German birdied three of his last five holes at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club on the way to a 64 that left him at six under, a shot clear of Frenchman Julien Guerrier, Dane Soren Kjeldsen, England’s Andy Sullivan and Japan’s Hideto Tanihara.
Scot David Drysdale, Spaniard Nacho Elvira and South African pair Erik van Rooyen – who had a rollercoaster round closing with his seventh and eighth birdies of the day but also making four bogeys – and Justin Walters were then two shots off the lead.
Belgian pair Thomas Detry and Thomas Pieters, New Zealander Ryan Fox, Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal, French duo Alexander Levy and Matthieu Pavon, England’s Aaron Rai and South African Charl Schwartzel were all at three under.
‘I managed to stay out of the trouble today and played nicely,’ said Kieffer. ‘It was a good day, I played very good tee to green and holed a few putts so I can’t complain.
‘I have played very well the last couple of weeks and have been hitting the ball nicely since Sweden and the putting feels OK as well, so just trying to stay calm with the mind and hopefully keep the confidence up.
‘I changed coach a couple of months ago now and that work really pays off now. My mind is OK at the moment and the putter [is better] so those three things are a good step.’