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Day one digest: 2021 D+D Real Czech Masters

Day one digest: 2021 D+D Real Czech Masters

Everything you need to know from day one in Prague.

Danny Willett

The Iceman found his groove, Maverick gunned his way to the top, Ondrej delighted the home fans and Danny was feeling familiar vibes on day one of the 2021 D+D Real Czech Masters.

Here is everything you need to know from Thursday at Albatross Golf Resort.

The Iceman cometh to the fore

Henrik Stenson would admit that he has not been at his brilliant best for a while now. A Major Championship and two Race to Dubai titles mean his place among the game's greats is well and truly secured but he recently slipped outside the top 200 on the Official World Golf Ranking. But as they say: form is temporary and class is permanent - as is Henrik's wizardry with his trusty three wood.

That eagle was part of a bogey free 67 that means Stenson shared the lead at five under heading into day two.

Maverick takes flight

Maverick Antcliff has been a very consistent player on the European Tour since he completely dominated the China Golf Tour in 2019 to earn his card and on Thursday he looked ready to take the next step. He was part of a large leading group but jumped out of it in spectacular style.

He heads out in the first group of the day on Friday as he searches for a first European Tour win.

Smart move from Danny

Danny Willett has said that he is going to enjoy some familiarity over the next few weeks as he looks to fight his way into the Ryder Cup team. He loves Prague, he loves Crans and he loves Wentworth. Earlier in the season he made a change but familiarity was still the name of the game as best friend Sam Haywood was replaced on the bag by Jonathan Smart, the man with whom Willett won the Masters Tournament in 2016. An opening 68 in Prague left him just a shot off the lead so maybe familiarity is breeding success? "We've obviously done very well in the past and we still talk the same language with what we're going through with golf shots and still do our jobs pretty well," said Willett. "It seems to have worked out nicely so far."

Home hero Lieser lights up Prague

Ondrej Lieser may have been having some sleepless nights but an opening 68 made sure day one was the stuff of dreams for the home favourite. Having been drawn alongside Major Champions Stenson and Padraig Harrington, Lieser admitted to suffering from some nerves ahead of his 16th European Tour appearance and they were visible as he made a bogey bogey start. A pair of birdies on the front nine got him back level at the turn but it was coming home that he really stole the show in front of a raucous local crowd. He made a hat-trick of birdies from the tenth - capped off by a remarkable up and down after going left over a cart path on the 12th - and then birdied the 15th to sit just a shot off the lead. "I’m going to spend at least one more day on the golf course with these two legends," he said. "That’s the most amazing thing to happen to me so far on the golf course."

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