There is also Matt Fitzpatrick in the group that leads the Omega European Masters leaderboard at the end of the first day. The Englishman - Us Open 2022 champion - has already won this tournament twice in 2017 and 2018. There are 6 players at -7, in addition to Matt there are Elvira, Green, Axelsen, Kawamura and Pepperell.
Fitzpatrick is also playing for automatic qualification in the European Ryder Cup team, he must finish at least seventh here in Crans Montana, Switzerland, to overtake Tommy Fleetwood in the World Points ranking and thus guarantee himself a place in the team that will face the USA at the Marco Simone of Guidonia (Rome) from 29 September to 1 October.
It's true that even if he doesn't succeed, it's still unthinkable that he won't be called by captain Luke Donald who will announce the 12 team members just next Monday, at the end of the tournament. Right now Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Viktor Hovland and Tyrrell Hatton are arithmetically sure of their place.
Certainly also Fleetwood, Fitzpatrick and Sepp Straka. Most likely Shane Lowry and Justin Rose. And we are at nine. Three places remain, the Omega Master will be decisive, in fact all those hoping to get to Rome are playing in Switzerland.
Matt Fitzpatrick, Omega European Masters
There are six who, with a good result, can guarantee automatic access by reaching third place in the points ranking of the DpWorld Tour races and among them the best performance is that of the German Yannik Paul who closed the first day in Crans in seventh position at -6 one shot from the six leaders.
Behind Paul the best placed is the Polish Adrian Meronk (-3), then there are the Scot Robert MacIntyre - 2 and then Rasmus Hojgaard and Adrian Otaegui, both at -1. Bad French Victor Perez (+1) Then we need to look very carefully at the results, and the quality of the game, of Ludwig Aberg (-6) and Nicolai Hojgaard (-5), Rasmus' twin.
The two of them may not have automatic qualification in Ryder, but they could convince Donald to give them a wild card, especially if they win here in Switzerland. And today they were flawless. The Italians Renato Paratore performed very well, 28th at -3 with 5 birdies, three of which in the last 4 four holes, and two bogeys.
On the other hand, disappointment for Guido Migliozzi (+2) and Edoardo Molinari (+3) very far from the leaders. It will take a feat just to pass the cut.