Updated: Friday, 05 September 2014 04:51 | By Agence France-Presse

Ramsey, Molinari, share early European Masters lead

Scot Richie Ramsey and Italy's Edoardo Molinari shared the first round lead at the European Masters on eight under par at Crans Montana on Thursday.

Ramsey, Molinari, share early European Masters lead

Scottish golfer Richie Ramsey watches his drive during the PGA Championship at Wentworth Golf Club in Surrey, southwest of London, on May 22, 2014 - by Glyn Kirk

Ramsey set off at a blistering pace at the picturesque Swiss course, eagling the opening hole and birdying the next two.

He posted three further birdies to take the clubhouse lead, where he was later joined by Molinari, who enjoyed a similarly flawless round.

Ramsay said: "Four under through three holes was a nice way to start. 

"I hit a great six iron into the first and then two more good iron shots into the next two, so I was flying at that point. It gave me a great boost and I managed to pick off a few more birdies after that."

Molinari, who has missed this tournament for the last two years through injury, said: "I hit the ball very well from the tee, which wasn't the case last week (in Italy).

"And I've been hitting my irons very well lately, so I know that when I find the fairways, I'm probably going to give myself a good chance to get close to the pin."

Ramsay and Molinari were two shots ahead of Englishmen Tommy Fleetwood and Graeme Storm plus Northern Ireland’s Gareth Maybin, who all made 64s.

Wales' Jamie Donaldson, seeking consecutive European Tour triumphs, went round in 65 to be in a group of seven on five under. Defending champion Thomas Björn of Denmark was among a large group one shot further back.

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