Challenge Tour graduate David Horsey marked his Wentworth Club debut with a five under par 67 to take an early clubhouse lead during the first round of the BMW PGA Championship.
The 24 year old Englishman, who secured his place on The 2009 European Tour International Schedule by winning last year’s Challenge Tour, birdied his last three holes to complete a six birdie, one bogey round.
Horsey said: “I started off a little bit slow, two three putts on three and four, four being for par, which was a bit disappointing.
“And then I birdied six I think and then four birdies on the back nine. I birdied 12, and the last three, so, yeah, strong finish. The back nine is playing downwind today, so it's a little bit easier than the front nine, but you've still got to shoot the score, so I'm very pleased with how I finished.”
The former Walker Cup player was soon joined by compatriot Anthony Wall at five under.
Wall’s only victory on The European Tour in over 300 starts came nine years ago at the Alfred Dunhill Championship, but the 33 year old Londoner enjoyed an inward four under par 33 on the West Course to sign for a 67.
“My iron play was good today,” said Wall. ”The greens were very, very good this morning, so if you hit good shots, you could be rewarded, which was the case.
“I'm looking to have a good week. I'm staying at home, nice and relaxed, playing well and off to a good start. There's no reason why we can't have a good week.”
Paul Casey - who claimed an HSBC World Match Play Championship at this venue in 2006 - looked like completing an English one-two-three as he reached four under through 13 holes, but Casey had late bogeys.
He did also birdie the 17th and so posted a three under 69, but playing partner Ross Fisher overtook him with a superb closing eagle and moved into joint third place on four under with South African Charl Schwartzel and Sweden’s Niclas Fasth. His second shot finished only a few feet from the flag.
Casey was joined by a host of big names in the clubhouse on three under. Sweden’s Alexander Noren was alongside compatriot and last year’s European Order of Merit winner Robert Karlsson, former The Open Championship winner Ben Curtis, three time winner of the event Colin Montgomerie and World Number 45 Søren Kjeldsen.
Out on the course the Spanish contingent were starting to make their present felt, with defending champion Miguel Angel Jiménez reaching four under through 15 holes.
His compatriots Alvaro Quiros – the longest hitter on The European Tour – and British Masters champion Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño were both two under.