Richard Boxall reviews day one of the BMW PGA Championship
Last Updated: 26/05/17 6:32am
Richard Boxall looks back at the best of the action from the opening round of the BMW PGA Championship and reviews an encouraging start from some of the English interest in the field.
With all the changes to Wentworth, it's clearly still a fair test and scoring has been by and large the same as last year. We've seen the odd round in the low 60s in recent years and many may have expected something similar today, but six under is a good score to lead after round one.
The greens could do with being maybe a little firmer in my opinion, but the course changes have all been good and the vast majority of the players have been delighted with the conditions. It's been set up very fairly.
I expected a big week for Thomas Pieters, who is only 25 and has had three wins on the European Tour already. He clearly enjoys the big occasions, just look at his amazing debut in the Ryder Cup last year.
Francesco Molinari has gone close here before, and he's off to a great start despite playing mostly on the PGA Tour these days, but it's good to see Johan Carlsson at the top of the leaderboard. He really needs a big cheque this week as he's way down the Race to Dubai standings at 136th after 10 events.
Ross Fisher and Tyrrell Hatton lead the English challenge, although I'm slightly surprised not to see more home players up there. Chris Wood and Justin Rose struggled to make much happen and both shot level par along with Tommy Fleetwood, who has been in fantastic form over the last six months.
I had Fleetwood as my first choice to win here this week, and that looked a decent prediction when he birdied the first and fourth. But he let it slip when he dropped four shots in three holes, so his eagle at 12 was crucial to get his round back on track.
His birdie at the last was also useful to get him back to level par, which will probably be close to the cut after 36 holes. Tommy is only six behind, and I certainly wouldn't count him out yet.
Tyrrell Hatton will be happy with a 69, and I reckon he'll be in the top 10 come Sunday. He went very close here last year, he's playing great, and the course clearly suits him down to the ground.
It's also nice to see Ross Fisher continue his impressive recent run of form. Ross grew up playing Wentworth, knows practically every blade of grass - or at least he did until they relaid the greens!
Overall, it's been an excellent opening round in glorious sunny conditions and it sets up beautifully for the rest of the tournament. And the course? Well, I've been coming here for more years than I care to remember, and I've never seen Wentworth in better condition.
Watch the BMW PGA Championship throughout the week live on Sky Sports 4 - your home of golf