LONDON – England's Matt Wallace carded a blemish-free seven-under par 65 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the BMW PGA Championship on Thursday.
Wallace set the clubhouse target with five birdies and an eagle on the par-five fourth to lead Sweden's Henrik Stenson and Spain's Jon Rahm who both signed for 66 in the European Tour's flagship event at Wentworth, Surrey.
"This is the tour's biggest event and my home event now," Wallace, ranked 26th in the world, said. "I've played the course plenty of times before coming into this week and I feel comfortable.
"It always helps when your game's in shape as well. I played the first seven or eight holes as good as I possibly could and showed my all-round game by grinding out the last few holes."
Four-times major champion Rory McIlroy started brightly and looked set to take the lead but the world number two struggled on the back nine to finish with a four-over 76.