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Czech Masters 2016: Thursday Leaderboard Scores and Highlights

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistAugust 18, 2016

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - AUGUST 18: Thomas Pieters of Belgium takes his second shot on the 10th hole during day one of the D+D REAL Czech Masters at Albatross Golf Resort on August 18, 2016 in Prague, Czech Republic.  (Photo by Richard Martin-Roberts/Getty Images)
Richard Martin-Roberts/Getty Images

Ryan Evans leads the pack after Thursday's Czech Masters action, carding an opening round of six-under 66. He leads Belgium's Thomas Pieters and Sweden's Peter Hanson by a single shot.

Evans was the last man out but didn't let that faze him, tying the score of Pieters and Hanson at the 12th and finding a birdie with his last shot to take the lead.  

Here's a look at the leaderboard after the first round:

Czech Masters Leaderboard
PosPlayerTo ParThursday Score
1Ryan Evans-666
T2Thomas Pieters-567
T2Peter Hanson-567
T4Craig Lee-468
T4Jeff Winther-468
T4Bradley Dredge-468
T4Robert Coles-468
T4Scott Jamieson-468
T4Robert Karlsson-468
T4Graeme Storm-468
EuropeanTour.com

Recap

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - AUGUST 18:  Andy Sullivan of England takes a shot on the 12th hole during day one of the D+D REAL Czech Masters at Albatross Golf Resort on August 18, 2016 in Prague, Czech Republic.  (Photo by Richard Martin-Roberts/Getty Images)
Richard Martin-Roberts/Getty Images

With the Olympic gold tournament finishing just a few days ago, the field for the 2016 Czech Masters consisted of a blend of Olympians and European Tour veterans who were aching to get back into form, which led to a relaxed and fun atmosphere.

Setting the tone were Lee Westwood and Jamie Donaldson, who even took the time to take shots at cutouts of each other, via the European Tour's official Twitter account:

The European Tour @EuropeanTour

.@DonaldsonJamie took aim at a cutout of @WestwoodLee. It was mighty close... #CzechMasters https://t.co/EIcvVIs34I

Defending champion Pieters played a nearly flawless opening round; a double bogey on the eighth was his only blemish. He added three birdies on the front nine and four more on the back nine, finishing with a score of five under for a share of the early lead.

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Per the European Tour, rounds like that have become par for the course for the Belgian in Prague:

The European Tour @EuropeanTour

New year, same @Thomas_Pieters. #CzechMasters https://t.co/YZ0S2dRibt

Pieters took his maiden win on the European Tour in the Czech Republic last year and followed it up with another win in the Netherlands. He'll need similar results to make the Ryder Cup team, but he has been in sensational form of late.

Hanson joined the Belgian at the top of the leaderboard during the early session, scoring four of his five birdies on the back nine. It was an impressive showing, as the back nine appeared to play quite difficult compared to the first half of the course―just have a look at this scorecard:

Scott Jamieson finished the day four under despite playing with a spare set of clubs, as his didn't make it to Prague in time. He joined a list of dangerous outsiders who sit just two shots behind the leader, including Craig Lee and Bradley Dredge.

Not everyone played as consistently as that group, however―Chris Hanson also fell victim to the tricky back nine, for instance:

Chris Hanson @Hansonprogolf

After a promising start, it fell away on my back nine to post 74 (+2) Thanks to everyone who walked round supporting me! #CzechMasters

Evans was part of the final group and quickly closed in on the two leaders. The Englishman tied their score on the 12th and seemed destined to stay in that position, but he birdied the last hole as well to take sole possession of the top spot after the first round.

John Daly finished the day three under, while Westwood and Edoardo Molinari sit well within reach of the leader, carding scores of two under. 

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