May 9 (Reuters) - England’s Matthew Jordan fired a brilliant nine-under-par 63 for a new course record at the Hillside Golf Club to grab the lead in the British Masters first round on Thursday.
Making only his ninth European Tour appearance, the 23-year-old showed no signs of nerves, finishing two shots ahead of compatriot Matt Wallace and Marcus Kinhult of Sweden.
Five birdies on the front nine and one immediately after the turn helped tournament invitee Jordan surge ahead of the pack and he clinched his ninth birdie with an excellent approach into the 15th.
“I’ve known him (Jordan) for a long time, we all know what he’s capable of,” said tournament host Tommy Fleetwood, who finished five shots off the lead after a 68.
“That’s a tremendous first round and I think it will be good for him now.
“I’ve seen some of his scores and he’s not played as well as I know he wants to this year, but when you’re first turning pro it’s different and now the experience being at the top of the leaderboard for a few days will be really, really good.”
Despite cold and wet weather, world number 16 Fleetwood attracted big crowds and he did not disappoint as he made an eagle, three birdies and a bogey.
The Englishman was particularly pleased with his par at the first hole, firing his third shot to four feet after taking a drop from the base of a tree.
“That was a great par save,” Fleetwood said.
“A nice momentum boost and eagle on the next. I’ve gained two or three shots there in two holes, which is lovely. That’s what you want to do.”
Belgian Thomas Detry and Scot Richie Ramsay shared fourth place at six under alongside Swede Robert Karlsson and England’s former world number one Lee Westwood. (Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)