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Daly, Pieters among four-way tie for lead at Czech Masters

68   //    24 Aug 2018, 01:20 IST
JohnDaly - Cropped
John Daly shows off his trousers at the Czech Masters

John Daly and Thomas Pieters are two of the four men who share the lead at the Czech Masters after the opening round in Prague on Thursday.

Along with Callum Tarren and Gavin Green, Daly and Ryder Cup hopeful Pieters shot eight-under rounds of 64 to equal the course record at Albatross Golf Resort and set the early pace.

A group of five are a stroke further back while the likes of Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and another man with designs on joining Team Europe at Le Golf National next month, Eddie Pepperell, signed for six-under 66s.

Defending champion Haydn Porteous, meanwhile, could only finish one under to leave himself with work to do if he is to retain his crown.

Sporting typically garish trousers - a black and white pair adorned with patterns of skulls and flowers - Daly started his round with three straight birdies, adding further gains at six and nine before coming home in three under for a blemish-free round.

"It's been one of those years where I've been hitting it really good, I've just been injured and having to pull out," said the two-time major champion. "I don't feel great but I got around today and I just played solid golf and it's great. It feels good.

"It was just one of those days where the yardages into the greens were so perfect it made it a little easier. It was a very comfortable swinging round today and if I can do that every day, the injuries don't tend to hurt as much."


Daly's bogey-free effort was matched by Pieters, who emerged victorious at this event three years ago.

"I love it [the course]," Pieters said. "It really suits my eye off the tee and it's just a matter of making the putts over the rest of the week if I keep hitting it like that.

"I'd rather go one better here and then do the same next week but I'm going to worry about tomorrow first and then Saturday, a day at a time."

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