Michael Hoey and Sebastian Soderberg shot brilliant ten under par rounds of 61 to share the lead on day one of The Rocco Forte Open - Verdura, Sicily.
Here, we take a look at what some of the chasing pack had to say after their first rounds.
Zander Lombard (62, -9)
"It was solid. I just didn't make any mistakes and stayed out of trouble and holed a few putts. The course is fair, if you hit good shots, you're going to play good. There are some holes that can catch you out but a good player will play good. I just stick to my routines and my gameplan religiously and it worked out for me. I hit a few great shots, I hit a few iffy shots but the way I did I was still in a fine position and made good pars. It was nice to get the momentum going early in the week, it was almost flawless for me. Very happy."
Jbe Kruger (63, -8)
"It was amazing for all the hard work to pay off. It's always nice to get a good start like that. I love it, the greens are really good and it's not really that long. If you hit good shots you've got a lot of chances. At the end of the day, the guy who putts the best is probably the guy who is going to win."
Sebastian Heisele (63, -8)
"It was good. Obviously I got off to a fast start and then hit a beautiful drive to the fourth, to seven feet or so, and made the putt. I had a bit of a brain-fart on nine, had a terrible strategy off the tee and just didn’t feel comfortable. It was a bad par but I’ll take it I guess. It’s going to be the same wind for everybody for the rest of the week so I have to try and stay up there tomorrow, keep plugging along and make the best of the chances and hopefully go into Saturday in a good position."
Li Haotong (64, -7)
"This was my first round in a couple of weeks after a week off, and it’s a great start for me. I changed my irons, my putter and my wedge, almost everything in the bag is new and it has given me a nice feeling. I holed a lot of putts today except for the one on the last when I missed a three-foot chance for birdie. It was a great shot in and I had a lot of great shots today and it’s a nice start."
Lee Slattery (64, -7)
"It was nice to birdie three out of the four par threes today. I just hit some really nice iron shots and that was the strength of my game today, I just gave myself a lot of chances which I haven’t been doing recently. I drove the ball solid but was just in control of my irons and hit a lot of shots inside 15 feet today and managed to hole the putts. I can’t wait for the rest of the week, how can you not enjoy this place? Right by the beach and you’re never struggling for views all of the way around so it keeps you a little bit calmer, it’s a really nice place."
Ryder Cup Captain Thomas Bjørn (65, -6)
"I hit a lot of good iron shots today and I set myself up nicely all the way around, which was nice because I haven’t played a whole lot of tournament golf and I haven’t done a lot of practising either. I felt like I want to get more now, I’ve spent a lot of time doing Ryder Cup stuff over the last four or five months and I feel like I have to get out and play some golf and be around guys on Tour. It’s the best place to be, you get a feeling for a lot of things when you’re out here so this is where I want to be and keep playing. I’m mainly focused on being a good captain but I want to be out playing golf."