Francesco Molinari leads the first round of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club.
Francesco Molinari / Getty Images
Francesco opened the BMW PGA Championship with a blistering -7 under par 65, hitting 17 out of the 18 greens in regulation, to lead by two shots on the first day at Wentworth.
“I think I missed one green on the third and chipped up to two feet, so it was as stress-free as it could be round here.”
“I love this place and it’s good to be back. It rewards accuracy, which suits my game.”
“I missed the Masters this year after 22 Majors in a row and it was not a nice feeling, so I hope I will be back soon.”
In second place is Robert Karlsson, with his first round -5 under par 67. Robert has some happy memories of Wentworth, shooting a course-record 62 in the third round in 2010, after having to hire a private jet to get back to London on Saturday morning, because he had flown home to Monaco the day before thinking he had missed the cut.
Third position is shared between five players; Jorge Campillo, Chris Wood, Y.E. Yang, Marc Warren and the oldest man in the field Miguel Angel Jiménez.
Chris has played just six events this season after spending five months on the sidelines with a broken bone in his wrist following a fall;
“It’s a long way for me to fall and it hurt.”
“It was misdiagnosed as bone bruising for a month and then I was in a cast for two months at home.”
“It was a nightmare because I fell out of the top 60 on The Race to Dubai and plummeted down the world rankings.”
It’s been a struggle and feels like I have been working hard to finish 30th every week. I did finish third in Morocco but I think it was always going to be a bit of a battle after five months.”
Big highlight of the day was Andrew Johnson carding an Ace at the 184 yard par three 8th hole, which won him the sponsors prize of a brand new BMW M4;
Andrew and his new BMW M4 / Getty Images
“It took one bounce and hit the flag and went straight in. It just happened so quick, so I didn’t really know what to do.”
“I just saw him. He looked and I was like, ‘All right, now is the time to go’.”
World Number One Rory McIlroy, last weeks winner at Quail Hollow had a quiet first round -1 under par 71, but was mentally a little angry;
“Physically I am all right, I got back to my hotel at 4:30pm (on Wednesday) and did not leave it until 6:30 this morning, but mentally I could feel myself getting a little angry out there.”
“Acceptance of bad shots is the thing I have been doing so well and I feel like my patience was wearing a bit thin today.”
“I just need to stay in control of my emotions because I feel like that’s one of the things, if I’m a little tired or a little fatigued mentally, I’ll start to be hard on myself and start to get down on myself.”
“I played okay. There weren’t really any aspects of my game I thought were really good, but at the same time I don’t feel any aspect of my game was really off.”
One thing for Rory to think about is that no one has won here from being more than four shots off the lead after the opening round, he is six shots back.