CRANS-SUR-SIERRE, Switzerland (AP) – Anirban Lahiri of India shot 8-under 63 Thursday for a two-stroke lead at the European Masters, while 13-year-old Ye Wo-cheng of China finished with a 78.
The 178th-ranked Lahiri had two eagles, five birdies and a bogey on the 13th hole in the Swiss Alps sunshine and led Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain and Englishmen Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood.
Thomas Bjorn, the 2011 champion from Denmark, shot 66 to stand alone at 5 under.
The teenager Ye had a double bogey on three of his first four holes after starting his round at the 10th.
Last year, Lahiri followed an opening 66 on the Severiano Ballesteros course at Crans-sur-Sierre club with an 81 and missed the halfway cut.
“It's nice to be back with a bang,'' Lahiri said. “Obviously, a tough pill to swallow last year and I have learned a lot from that.''
He is a three-time career winner on the Asian Tour, which jointly sanctions the Swiss event with the European Tour.
Jose Maria Olazabal of Spain, the winning Europe Ryder Cup captain last year, was among six players on 4 under.
The highest ranked player in the field, No. 31 Matteo Manassero of Italy, was tied at 1 under by three-time major winner Padraig Harrington of Ireland.
Defending champion Richie Ramsay of Scotland shot a 73.