“I made birdies on the par fives and held my score. It wasn't easy; the golf course is playing okay this morning but you can make a double or triple bogey. I played safe when I had to and more aggressive when I could.”
All the best scoring was done in the morning session, with Wales’ Jamie Donaldson completing a flawless 67 to sit alongside Swede Fredrik Andersson Hed and English pair Chris Lloyd and Simon Wakefield in the clubhouse on five under.
Only one player form the afternoon could match that score. Home favourite and 2011 winner Alex Noren birdied three of his last four holes - the 18th after a brilliant pitch to two feet - to make it a five-way tie for third.
“It was a tough front nine,” said Noren. “I hit the driver good but didn’t hit the greens I wanted. Then I made birdie on 11 and mentally it was a very nice birdie so it gave me a very nice rhythm.
“To the eye it looks like you can go for everything and what I’ve learned from this course is if you play a bit more conservatively on the par fives – if you’re on the green you will probably make a birdie.”