Marcus Helligkilde produced a big finish over the West Course at Wentworth to open up a two-shot lead after day one of the BMW PGA Championship.
The 26-year-old Dane, who graduated from the Challenge Tour at the end of the 2021 season, birdied his final three holes to sign for a 64 and move to eight under par, ahead of Richie Ramsay and Matt Fitzpatrick, before play was halted due to fading light.
All 12 members of Europe’s Ryder Cup team are teeing it up this week and Fitzpatrick was the best of them on Thursday, with Matthew Baldwin and James Morrison one shot further back at five under par alongside Jorge Campillo and Pablo Larrazábal, Thomas Detry, Rikuya Hoshino, Adrian Meronk and Connor Syme.
But it was Helligkilde who stole the show in Surrey, carding ten birdies en route to matching his lowest DP World Tour round to par, as he looks to better a second place finish in Korea earlier this year – his best result on Europe’s top tier tour to date.
Ryder Cup team mates Ludvig Åberg and Tyrrell Hatton are amongst a group of nine players at four under par, with a further three of Luke Donald’s side – Tommy Fleetwood, Viktor Hovland and defending champion Shane Lowry – at three under, alongside European Junior Ryder Cup Captain Stephen Gallacher, Rolex Series winner Aaron Rai and a further six players.
Rory McIlroy, seeking to add to the BMW PGA Championship title he won in 2017, sits in a 19-way tie 65th – along with Ryder Cup teammates Justin Rose and Bob MacIntyre – after shooting a level-par 72 that included three bogeys and three birdies