Hot putter leaves Lawrie on top
Peter Lawrie credited a new putting technique with helping to give him the outright lead after the first round of the Czech Open.
Competing at the Prosper Golf Resort in Celadna, Lawrie did not drop a shot en route to carding a six-under-par round of 66. Last year's runner-up is now on course to go one better following a change to his putting style he first attempted in the Irish Open at the end of last month when he finished eighth.
"I played lovely golf," said the 37-year-old from Dublin. "No bogeys, which always helps. A couple of nice up-and-downs when I really needed them - on two and three - my 11th and 12th. "I did one or two things different in Ireland with my putting which seemed to work, and it's working well out here as well."
Starting at the 10th hole, Lawrie conjured birdies in three of the last five - the fifth, sixth and eighth on the course - to propel him into the lead.
Lawrie is followed on five under by fellow Irishman Damien McGrane, Frenchman Victor Dubuisson, in only his second year as a pro on the European tour, and Spain's Pedro Oriol.
Another Irishman in Shane Lowry stood at four under, with the highlight of his round being an eagle at the 576-yard, par-five fifth.
Lowry was joined by Sweden's Mikael Lundberg, who chalked up four birdies on the back nine to help make amends for a double-bogey six at the third.
At one stage another Swede in Fredrik Ohlsson was poised to be amongst the leaders when he made six birdies in seven holes, only to drop four shots in two holes late on and finish on one under.
Scottish trio Gary Orr, Richie Ramsay and David Drysdale, along with another Irishman in Paul McGinley, were amongst a host of players on three under.
The leading player in the field and course co-designer, Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez, was facing a fight to make the cut after a four-over-par round of 76.