Jimenez claims early lead in Turkey

European Tour

Miguel Angel Jimenez carded a flawless opening round of 63 to take the early lead at the Turkish Airlines Open.

The 50-year-old, who already holds the record for being the oldest winner on the European Tour, started the day in spectacular fashion as he holed his first approach shot of the day at the tenth for an eagle.

The Spaniard used that momentum to card seven more birdies in his round while not giving any shots back to the course.

He is one clear of England’s Ian Poulter on nine under par while rookie Tyrrel Hatton, Wade Ormsby and Brendon de Jonge share third place on seven under.

Despite the sublime round Jimenez was quick to point out that there are three more days to play before he can even think of celebrating.

“Nine under par on this course, only first round, it’s a good start,” said he told europeantour.com.

“It’s nice, making a low score.

“I hit a nice lob-wedge on the green [at the tenth]. You play very well, you just try to enjoy yourself, and it’s the way to shoot very low – it’s still exciting and I managed today to do that.

The veteran was also relieved to see the improvement in his game.

“It’s special because I’ve been struggling a little bit the last few months and you shoot under par, you feel good.

“Everything is getting close – I started to roll the ball better on the green and everything starts to go close and that helps.”

Second-placed Poulter changed equipment recently in a bid to overturn a recent poor run of form, but recently switched back to his old putter, which paid immediate dividends.

“I’m right there,” he said. “Within the space of a couple of weeks, I feel really good about myself. I don’t have any aches or pains, which is really nice. I feel strong and that means I can practice. And when I practice and start holing some putts, then I’m going to be full of confidence like I am right now.”

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