Thursday, 11 October 2018
Matt Wallace  (Getty Images)
Matt Wallace (Getty Images)

Local favourites Matthew Fitzpatrick and Matt Wallace took a share of the lead on the opening morning of the Sky Sports British Masters.

Wallace is a three-time winner on the European Tour this season, while Fitzpatrick claimed the first of his five wins at this event in 2015.

Fitzpatrick and Wallace moved to four under after 12 and 13 holes respectively at Walton Heath Golf Club to sit a shot ahead of fellow Englishmen Richard Bland and Matthew Southgate, Spaniard Pablo Larrazábal and Frenchman Clément Sordet.

Jordan Smith held a two-shot lead when he birdied the 11th, 12th, 14th and 15th but Wallace had eagled the 11th and a birdie from ten feet on the 15th got him within one.

He dropped a shot on the next but hit an excellent tee-shot into the par three next to get back to three under.

Smith dropped four shots in three holes to tumble down the leaderboard and was replaced at four under by Sordet who made a gain on the 11th to add to birdies on the second, fourth and eighth.

Wallace three-putted the first but used two drivers to get on the green at the par five second and once again bounce back with a gain. He was in a share of the lead when Sordet made a bogey on the 13th and 20-footer on the third meant Wallace led on his own.

Fitzpatrick had birdied the 11th and 12th but dropped a shot on the 15th before hitting a nice tee-shot into the 17th. Excellent par saves followed on the 18th and first before the 2016 Ryder Cup player holed a monster eagle putt on the second to join the lead.

Bland was playing alongside Sordet and birdied the second before bogeying the fifth but picked up three shots in four holes from the eighth.

Southgate had birdies on the second, fifth and eighth in his first nine holes, while Larrazábal birdied the 11th and 12th, dropped a shot on the 13th and then made gains on the 14th and 17th in his first eight.

Frenchman Julien Guerrier finished the front nine eagle-birdie to sit at two under alongside Gavin Green, Marcus Kinhult and Richard McEvoy.

Defending champion Paul Dunne was in a group of 12 players at one under.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
2BJÖRK, AlexanderSWE18-7
T3SMITH, JordanENG18-5

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