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Omega European Masters day one - What the leaders said

Omega European Masters day one - What the leaders said

There was a six-way tie for the lead after day one of the Omega European Masters.

Here is what the leading players had to say after completing their seven-under rounds of 63.

Matt Fitzpatrick

I played brilliant. Only hit two bad shots, one I got away with and one I got up and down, so that’s as good as I’ve played for a while.

I made a good par save on 13 but missed a couple of putts for that score as well. I feel comfortable out there, it’s so nice to be back.

My coach called the other day to ask if I wanted him to come and I was a bit um and ah but I knew I needed to work on some things. He came and we changed a few bits, just feel much more comfortable, really happy with where it’s at.

Changed a bit of posture, carried on working on the stuff we’d already been working on a few weeks ago. More about getting a feeling, getting comfortable and taking it to the course.

On six, that might be the first time I’ve driven the green there even though I hit driver all the time. It was a nice one to hit. Two great tee shots on six and seven left me good opportunities for birdies. Great couple of holes.

On 11 I saw Nicolai’s putt and thought it was pretty fast, turned out I just didn’t hit it hard enough to get down there. On 13 it was really important (par save) to keep the momentum going into the two par fives that are both scoreable.

Good last three holes, solid, just happy to keep playing the way I was.

Jon Axelsen

Whenever you shoot a 63 it feels effortless, that’s how I would describe today. A lot of great approach shots, missed a few putts on the front nine, which was my back nine, but all in all it was very solid.

I was lucky with where I missed the shots. A lot of the pins are quite tucked and you’ve got to aim quite safe, so hitting a bad shot might be a good shot. It was just one of those rounds, didn’t really get into trouble, which I think is key out here.

Dealing with altitude is mainly about the practice rounds, where you find out exactly how far the ball goes. Not just with the altitude, because the temperature has switched a lot the last few days. Had a good practice session, figured it out, then you try to learn when you play as well. I’m usually not too good in altitude but today worked out quite nicely.

Gavin Green

Gavin Green

I played pretty well and I drove it well. I hit a lot of greens and made some putts. Coming from last week, last week I was hitting lots of greens and missing putts, but today some of them dropped.

If you take it on, there's some holes where you can take it on, and if you pull it off, you're coming in with a lot shorter club and you know you're going to be able to hold the greens. The greens are soft enough anyway.

I think generally if you drive it well around here, especially 14, 15, you're going to get looks at birdies and eagles.

Morning was a little cold, a little chilly. I wasn't here Monday but I heard Monday was really, really cold and raining and it was terrible.

I'm pretty aware (of altitude) because where I went to university, it's a very similar altitude in Albuquerque. So, I've had a few good memories playing there and it just brings it back for me.

We had good looks starting with the fourth. Miss on the fourth and fifth we birdied, six we had a look, we made seven, eight, nine. We stuck to the game-plan, we didn't really fire at pins. We were five feet, ten feet right or left of the pin, long or short, not really short-sighting ourselves, which really helped. The greens are good, firm, got a little bounce to them. Just a couple of putts rolled in for me and here I am.

We are just going to do what we have been doing, hitting fairways, hitting greens, trying to make putts.

Eddie Pepperell

Got off to a good start, got the irons dialled in early - particularly my wedges - before I knew it I was five under par. I’ve not had much success when I’ve played here in the past. Came here with little very expectations in terms of my form on the course. Having said that I’ve been hitting the ball quite well the last couple of weeks.

I took the driver out, played with three wood and lots of irons. It’s one of those courses where you can shoot a good score by doing that.

After Scotland I decided to go it alone a bit with my swing, so spent four weeks in my simulator at home banging my head against a brick wall trying to figure things out. I think I did a pretty good job, certainly found my iron play again, which is always key for me.

Don’t feel great off the tee at the moment - definitely a work in progress. Some very good iron shots has been the key to my success over the last couple of weeks and I need to keep that going.

I was tired, had two weeks and a lot of early starts last two weeks so a day off was what I needed (on not playing a practice round). Just felt a bit fresher today, hit some nice shots early and got into a groove. Good three ball as well. No wind, so it was definitely out there. This is probably the most gettable I have seen the course in the years I’ve been here, although I’ve usually been in the trees.

Masahiro Kawamura

My shots were very good today, so I had lots of chances for birdie putts. The last three holes I had one two-putt birdie and one almost hole-in-one. It was three easy birdies in a row - no-stress birdies - so I was happy with the finish.

Crans Montana is my favourite golf course, so I am happy to play well here. The views, it’s a special place. This is my eighth time in Crans Montana but it’s always fantastic and always very happy to be here.

Nacho Elvira

Nacho Elvira

I’m ecstatic, super happy. To be fair I couldn’t have gotten any more out of this round, I played great. I didn’t hit the ball as great as I wanted but I scrambled well and putted fantastic.

It was chilly at 5.30am warming up. But we had the best day so far this week and it’s getting warmer, with no winds. Scoring conditions are favourable.

The greens are not so soft, but maybe the fairways, especially on 18 I missed my tee shot a bit right and it bounced and stayed, usually it goes into the bunker. It’s playing a little bit easier but hopefully it gets harder as the week goes on.

I just love being here. You don’t think too much about golf when you are playing in the moment. I brought the family with me, the little one is here, so I couldn’t be happier just to be here.

I was playing good golf (coming into this week) but it wasn’t adding together for some reason, I don’t really know. Last week I missed the cut by one but I felt I was playing decent golf, just a couple of mistakes here and there. The game is getting there, hopefully continues through the year.

Any time you shoot seven under it’s a boost of confidence, so hopefully I keep that up.

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