Ramsay has to be content with lead after European Tour’s first 59 proves elusive

Sheffield's Danny Willett is five shots off the lead at the European Masters.
Sheffield's Danny Willett is five shots off the lead at the European Masters.
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Former champion Richie Ramsay admitted the chance to make history had crossed his mind in yesterday’s opening round of the Omega European Masters.

An eagle and six birdies in his first 15 holes at Crans-sur-Sierre left Ramsay needing to birdie the last three on the par-70 layout to record the first 59 on the European Tour.

But after a superb tee shot to six feet on the difficult 16th, Ramsay’s birdie attempt slipped past the hole and he eventually signed for an eight-under-par 62 to share the lead with Italy’s Edoardo Molinari.

“On the 16th I thought that if I could make my birdie putt I’d have a good chance, because the last two holes are decent chances for birdie,” Ramsay said.

“But once I missed the putt, I obviously knew the game was up.”

The 31-year-old from Aberdeen won his second European Tour title here in 2012 and added: “This course really suits me. It’s a proper golf course, you really need to think a lot and plot your way around, especially off the tee. Good shots get rewarded and poor shots get punished, which is exactly the way it should be.”

Sheffield’s Danny Willett is five shots back of the lead after an opening 67, four better than Harrogate’s John Parry.

Matthew Fitzpatrick, the former world amateur No 1, also from Sheffield, shot 73.

Australian Whitney Hillier and Holland’s Dewi-Claire Schreefel shared the first-round lead in the Helsingborg Open on 67.