Nacho Elvira and Vincent Norrman share the lead at the Wales Open after carding seven-under par rounds of 64.
Norrman, making just his fourth European Tour start this week, set the clubhouse target with a bogey-free round and was joined by Elvira, who carded nine birdies and an eagle on the Twenty Ten Course at The Celtic Manor Resort.
They sit two strokes ahead of Finland’s Mikko Korhonen and James Morrison of England, who each fired five-under par rounds of 66 on the 2010 Ryder Cup host course.
Nine golfers share fifth place on four-under, including Sam Horsfield, who won the Celtic Classic last year at this venue as part of the 2020 UK Swing, 2012 Ryder Cup player Nicolas Colsaerts and four-time European Tour winner Matt Wallace.
“It’s an amazing place,” said Norrman. “A ball-strikers course, you’ve got to hit some real good shots off the tee and into the greens to get a putt. It was a good day, I’m having a lot of fun out there at the moment. I didn’t know I shot seven under to be honest, with that birdie on the last, I was so in the zone.
“You have to believe in yourself. I’m super excited to get the opportunity to be out here with the guys who are the best in the world. The game is there. It’s a lot of fun to prove yourself out here and not play amateur golf. I’m not surprised, but I guess a lot of people are.”
Elvira added: “It was like a rainbow – every single colour on the scorecard today. I don’t think I’ve ever made nine birdies and an eagle in a round. I think I played pretty solid, I putted nicely, which is something I haven’t done very well lately. I got a couple of bad breaks coming in but overall I’m happy.”