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Hoey steals show with hole-in-one

By Phil Casey

Danny Willett continued where he left off at the Open Championship with a superb start at the Omega European Masters in Switzerland but the spotlight was stolen from him by Michael Hoey.

The 36-year-old posted a hole-in-one on his way to an opening round of five-under-par 65 at the Crans-sur-Sierre course.

Hoey holed his tee shot with an eight iron at the 177-yard third hole.

His memorable moment earns him a life insurance policy worth 30,000 Swiss francs (£20,192)!

The Ulsterman is one of a host of players tied for third place in Switzerland, two behind leader Gregory Havret and one adrift of Lasse Jensen.

Hoey went on to record five birdies and two bogeys in the remainder of his round. Ireland's Peter Lawrie is well placed on three under, with Damien McGrane struggling on three over.

Willett, from South Yorkshire, who finished in a tie for sixth at St Andrews on Monday, also opened with a five-under 65.

Willett's round, which included an eagle and five birdies, earned him a share of the early lead along with fellow Englishmen Seve Benson and Richard Bland, and Thailand's Jazz Janewattananond.

Lee Westwood, whose 42 career wins include Crans success in 1999, recovered from a poor start to reach two under with three birdies in his closing five holes. Willett, who has risen to a career-high of 32 in the world rankings, was pleased with his opening effort.

He said: "It sets it up quite nicely for me here. It's a good fun golf course, and a good fun week. I've got my family here with me, so it's been a nice week off the course and, so far, a nice week on it as well. Long may it continue!"

Meanwhile, former women's world number one Dame Laura Davies believes tycoon Donald Trump's dramatic redevelopment plans for Turnberry will be positive. The Ayrshire course will have five new holes constructed this year.

"I was talking to R&A members who are in the know last week at The Open and they say the R&A are absolutely delighted with the changes," she said.

"Everyone is excited, so for once he is not controversial, he's doing a really good thing for an Open rota course."

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