Paul Broadhurst made a blistering start to the BMW PGA Championship with the best round of his career at the Championship, an excellent six under par 66 that gave him a one stroke clubhouse lead at Wentworth Club.
Playing his 51st round at The European Tour players’ flagship event – his first was in 1989 – the Englishman flew out of the blocks with five birdies in his opening eight holes before a single dropped shot and another couple of birdies took him one clear of his playing partner and countryman Simon Khan as well as Marcus Fraser of Australia and Italy’s Francesco Molinari.
Broadhurst’s score was made largely on the greens as he struck just 21 putts in his opening round.
“That’s the best score I have had here and it certainly took long enough to pull one out,” said Broadhurst.
“It’s probably the best putting round I, well I’m not sure about ever, but it’s one of the best putting rounds I have ever had.”
World Number Five Ernie Els banished a poor front nine to memory with a vintage back nine display over the West Course that he himself has redesigned over the past two years to move into a share of fourth place with Finland’s Miko Ilonen, India’s Jyoti Randhawa and Korea’s Y E Yang.
The South African had a disjointed opening nine holes that contained four birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey as he turned in level par 35, but, eliminated his mistakes on the back nine and picked up five birdies to come home in 32 for a 68.
“I put some good golf shots together on the back nine and made a couple of putts,” said Els. “Yeah, it was five under on the back nine and a 68, which is not too bad here. I was very annoyed after the double on the ninth – especially after the good start I had. I wanted to get off to a good start, which I did. And then three putting the sventh and then making double from nowhere on nine was quite annoying.
“I felt I was hitting the ball well and myself and JP [his caddie], we just kind of decided to keep doing what we're doing and try and give myself more opportunities for birdies and try and make some decent putts and it kind of worked out this time.”
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