Trio makes early running at Wentworth challenge

 19 May 2017 - 0:00


Wentworth:  Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat, England's Graeme Storm and Scotland's Scott Jamieson were the  pacesetters at the European PGA Championship at Wentworth yesterday.
      The Thai, a three-time winner on the European Tour, was out in 31, four-under par, and birdies at 12th and 13th moved him to six-under with four holes of his first round left before he dropped a shot at the par-three 14th.
Jamieson and Storm were level with him on five-under after Jamieson birdied the 16th and two more Englishmen, Daniel Brooks and David Horsey, were two shots further back on three-under after playing 15 and six holes respectively.
China's Li Haotong was level with that pair after a birdie at the 12th and South Africa's Dean Burmester was on the same mark after three birdies in his opening five holes.
Aphibarnrat, 27, came into the European Tour's flagship event on the back of a missed cut in the China Open but was quickly out of the blocks with four birdies on the front nine.
Storm, 39, who beat Rory McIlroy in a play-off to win the South African Open in January, almost lost his European Tour card last season but found the revamped Wentworth lay-out to his liking, as did several of the early starters in perfect conditions.
England's Justin Rose, the 2013 US Open Champion and world number nine, got off to a sticky start with a bogey at the first and another at the third before he clawed a shot back at the par-five fourth and another at the ninth.
Two-time winner here Luke Donald was struggling at two-over par for the front nine after a double bogey on the ninth.