Four men share the lead after the first day of the 2016 British Masters, with Mikko Ilonen, Marc Warren, Tommy Fleetwood and Richard Sterne all playing rounds of five-under 66 on Thursday.
The course at Chandlers' Cross, Hertfordshire, England, played fairly quickly and gave plenty of the top stars on the European Tour problems, and the top 10 is filled with Englishmen who know the course well and used their local knowledge.
Several top players, including Danny Willett, have already dropped out of the tournament, so fans could be in for a shock winner after four days of action.
Here's a look at the leaderboard:
|British Masters Leaderboard|
|Pos||Player||To Par||Thursday Score|
The opening round of the 2016 British Masters started with some bad news, as both Willett and Seve Benson retired with back problems.
That didn't stop those playing from putting on quite the show. Ilonen and Warren split the early lead, both dropping just a single shot on their way to a score of five-under.
The former recorded an eagle on the second hole and grabbed four more birdies while dropping the 11th, and the latter matched his effort on the second, dropping the ninth.
Behind those two, an all-British group impressed from the tee. As shared by the European Tour's official Twitter account, Lee Westwood didn't miss the fairway once on his way to a score of four-under:
The 43-year-old would drop two shots, as his putter gave him some issues, but his final score still puts him in contention for yet another European Tour win―which would be his first since 2014.
David Horsey, Richard Bland and James Morrison also signed off with scores of four-under, a solid start for some of the local favourites.
Tyrrell Hatton impressed with his putter on his way to a score of three-under, and he likely would have grabbed a share of the early lead if not for a double bogey on the fourth. The 24-year-old, who took his maiden European Tour win at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship earlier this year, loved how the greens played:
Among the late starters, Fleetwood was one of the standouts, playing a flawless round of five-under to grab a share of the lead. The 25-year-old's approach game was perfect, and his putter didn't let him down all day.
Alex Noren carded a round of four-under and made a number of spectacular shots, including this beautiful sequence:
Sterne joined the three leaders late in the day, also signing off with a score of five-under. The South African could have taken the outright lead had his putter held up a little better, but he has to feel good about his work from the tee and approach game.