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European Masters: Alejandro Canizares and Thriston Lawrence share the early lead
European Masters: Alejandro Canizares and Thriston Lawrence share the early lead
European Masters: Alejandro Canizares and Thriston Lawrence share the early lead
Golf European Masters: Alejandro Canizares and Thriston Lawrence share the early lead

European Masters: Alejandro Canizares and Thriston Lawrence share the early lead

European Masters: After the first round of the Omega European Masters, where Matt Wallace also got off to a solid start, Alejandro Canizares and Thriston Lawrence is tied for the lead.

Canizares shot an eight-under 62 at Crans-sur-Sierre, matching Lawrence’s total after a flawless start. The two players held a two-shot lead over the pursuing group. Canizares combined nine birdies and one bogey on his way to the score.

The Spaniard made his move up the leaderboard with five birdies in a six-hole stretch starting from the fifth after cancelling out a birdie at the third with a bogey at the next par-four.

On the par-70 course, Canizares scored three straight birdies starting at the 12th to momentarily threaten a potential “59 round,” but he finished with four pars and set the clubhouse goal at eight under.

“It was a great round,” Canizares said. “My goal today was to focus only on the targets, not to focus on my swing since it hasn’t worked lately! It felt almost like the unconscious, which is the goal for a golfer to hit unconscious good shots and that’s what I’m working on, trying to forget a little bit about the technique and let it go.”

Lawrence began his round on the back nine and made six birdies before holing out for an eagle on the par-five ninth hole, which was his final hole.

“Bogey free, so that’s always a tick in the box,” Lawrence said. “Started off nicely, a lot of fairways, a lot of greens, gave me a lot of 15 footers and managed to make a few. A nice little pitch in on the ninth to finish off, so very pleased about that.”

Wallace and Scott Jamieson of Scotland were among a group of four players who were two shots back of the leader on six under. The defending champion Rasmus Hojgaard was a further shot down.

Following a bogey at the 12th on the back nine, Wallace made up for it by sinking a 30-footer from the fringe at the 14th and rolling in a 20-foot birdie at the following hole despite having to lay up on the par-five.

Wallace couldn’t get out of the sand to save par on the 16th hole, but he made three more birdies in a four-hole stretch starting at the second after a six-footer, breaking a run of pars. Wallace finished the day with a 15-foot birdie on his last round.

Hojgaard hopes to follow major champions Seve Ballesteros and Matt Fitzpatrick in winning consecutive championships in the Swiss Alps. The 21-year-old also aspires to repeat as champion as fellow Dane Thomas Bjorn.

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