Lightning strikes as Thomas Bjorn sets electric pace at Wentworth
Former Wentworth resident Thomas Bjorn hailed the best round of his entire career after carding a brilliant 62 in the first round of the BMW PGA Championship.
Bjorn carded eight birdies and an eagle to equal the course record set by Sweden's Robert Karlsson in 2010, although Karlsson's score was "only" nine under as the 12th was played as a par four instead of a par five that year.
"You shoot great rounds in your career but to shoot 62 on this course, you can't ask for more," said Bjorn, who went on to win the European Masters in 2011 the last time he shot 62 on the European Tour.
"I don't really know where to start. Last week was awful (he missed the cut in the Spanish Open) and I was starting to feel a little frustrated with things and in practice this week I was not good either.
"To step out on this course of all courses and play like I did today was surprising. It was just one of those days where you walk off the course and think I want to keep playing."
In fact no one was able to keep playing within minutes of Bjorn tapping in for a birdie on the last, with play then suspended due to the threat of lightning.
Ireland's Shane Lowry and Germany's Marcel Siem were six under with four holes of their rounds to play, with South African Justin Walters safely in the clubhouse on five under after a 67.
Bjorn, who looks set to qualify for his first Ryder Cup appearance since 2002, birdied the second, fourth and seventh to reach the turn in 32 before a superb scoring burst on the back nine.
The 43-year-old birdied the 10th and 11th and holed from just six feet for an eagle on the par-five 12th, before picking up further birdies on the 14th, 16th and 18th.
Despite living on the Wentworth estate for nine years, Bjorn's best finish in the tournament is a share of fifth back in 1998, although he also lost in the final of the World Match Play Championship here in 2003.
"It's not a place where I think it's going to be a great week but I have to stick my head down now and focus on the rest of the week," he added.
Many players and caddies were wearing black today in memory of caddie Iain McGregor, who died during the Madeira Islands Open earlier this month.