Big-hitting Spaniard Alvaro Quiros made light of blustery conditions to birdie the first two holes and lead the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth today.
While others needed long irons or even fairway woods to reach the opening green, Quiros smashed his drive down to the bottom of the hill, pitched to 15 feet and sank his putt.
A two on the 154-yard second took the Dubai Desert Classic winner to two under par and one ahead of Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke, the only other early starter to birdie the 473-yard first, and English duo Kenneth Ferrie and Ross McGowan.
There were more fans in attendance by 8am than there were for the final of the World Match Play in Spain on Sunday and they did not have long to wait to see Luke Donald and Lee Westwood resume their battle for the world number one spot.
Donald, who missed the chance to go top when he lost to Ian Poulter in Sunday’s final, parred the first two holes, chipping to three feet from just off the back edge at the opener.
Westwood, already wearing waterproofs with some rainclouds overhead, did likewise, but US Open champion Graeme McDowell pushed his first shot into a deep fairway, came out sideways and did well to drop only one stroke.
The Ulsterman then made instant amends by sinking an eight-foot birdie putt on the next, while compatriot Rory McIlroy set off with a par four.
Donald could even go to the head of the rankings for the first time by missing the halfway cut tomorrow night – if, that is, Westwood and Martin Kaymer have bad weeks too.
Kaymer was among the later starters, as were Poulter, Ernie Els, Justin Rose and Paul Casey.