European Tour

Evans snatches Czech Masters lead

2016-08-18 20:49
Golf ball (Getty Images)

Prague - England's Ryan Evans birdied the final hole to take a one-shot lead after the first round of the Czech Masters in Prague on Thursday.

Evans signed for a six-under-par round of 66 to top the early leaderboard ahead of defending champion Thomas Pieters and Sweden's Peter Hanson.

"There's a first time for everything. I'm not going to think about it too much tomorrow, I'm just going to stick to the gameplan," the world number 540 told the European Tour website.

Belgian Pieters is looking for his third European Tour title after winning twice last year, and he bounced back from a double bogey at the eighth hole with four birdies on the back nine to card a 67.

That score was matched by Hanson, who was part of the winning Ryder Cup teams of 2010 and 2012, but has since struggled with persistent injuries and is without a victory in four years.

World number 39 Andy Sullivan is the highest-ranked player in the field and looking for valuable Ryder Cup points in his bid to make Darren Clarke's European team for the matches at Hazeltine that start next month.

But he could only manage a three-over-par opening effort of 75 at the Albatross Golf Resort and is in danger of missing the cut.

Fellow Ryder Cup hopefuls Lee Westwood and Matthew Fitzpatrick fared better on Thursday though.

Former world number one Westwood carded a two-under-par 70, with Fitzpatrick going round in one stroke less.

Sullivan and fellow Englishman Fitzpatrick currently hold the final two automatic qualification places, with Westwood sitting just outside and potentially in need of a captain's pick.

Read more on:    european tour  |  golf

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