Matteo Manassero was delighted to get his BMW PGA Championship campaign off to an impressive start with a three under par 69 on day one at Wentworth Club.
Manassero’s opening effort left the Italian two shots behind clubhouse leader Mikko Ilonen, after five birdies and two bogeys around the famous West Course.
“It was a good score - three under par is a good start today,” said the 20 year old, who has never missed a cut in three appearances at The European Tour’s Flagship Event, with a best finish of seventh in 2010.
“It wasn't an easy day; I always find it tough on the first day, it's difficult straightaway. You need to be focused in your game and you need to start well.
“I was happy today - I putted well, I played good, didn't miss much, so it was a good first round.2
Manassero also reserved praise for the large crowds that descended on Wentworth - despite chilly morning conditions.
“It seems every year that it's getting bigger and bigger,” he added. “Today I wasn't definitely the main group but there was so many people around watching with these conditions. It's definitely getting bigger and bigger.
“I've played well here in 2011 and it was a great feeling two years ago, but I would like to bring those memories back.
“I think I putted really well. I holed a few putts, but the most important thing is that I felt really, really solid, and I felt really good addressing the ball and I was hitting good putts. I think that was the main thing.
“And being such a tough day, a grinding day, you can't really hit all good shots, so you've got to make your par saves and make your opportunities, so I think that was the main thing.”