Hong Kong Open: Matthew Fitzpatrick one shot off lead in Tour opener

Matthew Fitzpatrick

England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick has won four European Tour events in his career

England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick is one shot off the lead after day one of the Hong Kong Open – the first European Tour event of the 2017-18 season.

Fitzpatrick, 23, shot a four-under-par 66 on Thursday, a round that included three successive birdies.

However, bogeys at the first and fifth holes denied him the overnight lead, which is held by India’s SSP Chawrasia.

Wales’ Jamie Donaldson is on three under, with 2016-17 Race to Dubai winner Tommy Fleetwood on two under.

Justin Rose, who Fleetwood pipped to the Race of Dubai title on Sunday, is level with his fellow Englishman, three shots off the lead.

Fitzpatrick has won four European Tour titles with his last success coming in the European Masters in Switzerland in September and said: “If it plays like this and I shoot the same score for the next three days, I’ll be very, very happy.

“It’s not easy with how strong the wind is and how easy it switches direction. It’s a tough golf course without any wind, so that makes it very tricky.”

Fleetwood, whose round included four birdies and bogeys at the sixth and ninth, said: “It was a tough day, it was Baltic (cold) this morning and once you get off the fairway it’s so difficult.

“I played really nice, I felt comfortable out there and hit a lot of nice putts.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/golf/42095621

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