Els calls two-shot penalty on himself at Wentworth

Swedish golfers have had no luck in the 62 years of the European Tour's PGA Championship. The four-time major victor was assessed a two-shot penalty and shot a 1-under 71 to lie five shots off the lead.

"Obviously, this week is a big week and I've always had that goal in mind that this is going to be a tournament to get it around no matter what", Carlsson said.

"I put it back and I hit my chip shot and I just felt uncomfortable by the way the ball came out".

Explaining his subsequent decision to take a penalty, he said: "The ball came out way too good. Who knows how I'll play Thursday, Friday and Saturday".

Then there was course designer Ernie Els, the most decorated player in the field with four majors, who felt he hit the ball like he used to in his vintage years but settled for a 71 rather than a 69 after an act of honesty remarkable even by this sport's high standards.

"Don't tell her I said this, but she's probably the smartest player I've ever coached, and you needed to be really smart out there on this course", said Brooks. We have played on I think six or seven events have all been on Bermuda.

"We listened to some of the players' comments through the years since we first started changing five years ago, and I think I feel we've got it right this time". In addition to reconstruction, all 18 greens were stripped of their old turf and reseeded.

Indeed, four of the greens - the eighth, 11th, 14th and 16th holes - have been completely reshaped while five more - the third, fourth, fifth, 12th and 15th holes - were partially rebuilt. The greens are firm, they are fast.

Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat, England's Graeme Storm and Scotland's Scott Jamieson were the pacesetters at the European PGA Championship at Wentworth on Thursday.

The 12-time European Tour victor, who missed four months of last season due to a foot injury, was back to his best when finishing tied second at The Players Championship in America recently.

"[There were] plenty of positives", said the Belgian.

"I would not want to miss Birkdale", added Poulter, who was second behind Padraig Harrington the last time Birkdale hosted the Open in 2008. I was also on his flight to London on Sunday night and he was very excited about heading back to the scene of the biggest win of his career. He began with 10 straight pars before making four birdies over his last eight holes.

Danny Willett, Justin Rose and defending champion Chris Wood all finished on level par, with Wood throwing his ball into the water on the 18th after a bogey six.

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