Jon Rahm remains in contention to successfully defend a title for the first time in his career after making a good start at the Open de Espana.
The world number five carded a 66 to finish three strokes behind leader and world number 909 Kristian Krogh Johannsessen in Madrid.
“It was always a dream to win the Spanish Open and definitely a career goal of mine to be a multiple champion,” Rahm said.
“I’ve not been able to successfully defend a title. I’ve been close, but not there, so hopefully I can make it happen this week. It’s a challenge.”
Johannessen started his round from the 10th and birdied the 13th and 14th before holing out for an eagle on the par-four 15th.
The 24-year-old Norwegian dropped his only shot of the day by three-putting the 16th but birdied the next and picked up four more shots in his last six holes.
“It was a good round,” Johannessen said. “I didn’t hit it perfectly but hit it in the right spots, even when I missed, and I holed some good putts.
“I’m out there having fun and playing smart. It’s a tricky course, but I’ve got a friend on the bag this week and we’re having fun out there.
“I just need to keep calm, play my own game and not get stressed out there. It’s a bit tricky, so if you get stressed you start easily making mistakes. I just need to keep cool and play my own game.”
What does Portuguese gem offer?
Costa Navarino set for IWD event.
Comprehensive upgrade coming.
Leading venue adds to reputation.
Dane beginning to make his mark.
Golfing pros come and go but with very few having as many titles like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson
Busier-than-usual year ahead!