European Tour

Fitzpatrick conjures a magical 64

Matthew Fitzpatrick (Gallo Images)
Matthew Fitzpatrick (Gallo Images)

Woburn - Young gun Matthew Fitzpatrick fired six birdies and an eagle to sprint to the top of the leaderboard with a seven-under-par 64 in the British Masters first round on Thursday.

The 21-year-old showed the sort of sizzling form that once took him to the top of the world amateur rankings as he opened a one-stroke lead over fellow Englishman Lee Slattery, Robert Karlsson of Sweden, Dane Soren Kjeldsen and Scot Marc Warren.

Fitzpatrick, who was within inches of claiming the first 59 in European Tour history at last month's Dutch Open, took advantage of ideal scoring conditions by racing to the turn in 31 at Woburn's Marquess Course.

He mixed an eagle at the par-five seventh with three birdies and a solitary bogey on the outward nine before making further inroads on par at the 13th, 17th and 18th.

Former European number one Karlsson would have joined him on 64 but for a bogey five at the last hole.

Triple major winner Padraig Harrington was among a host of players to open with a 66 while former world number one Luke Donald went round in 67.

Tournament host Ian Poulter was also well placed after shooting a 68.

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