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Level par round for Lowry as Lewis and Schwab lead the way

European Tour  

Shane Lowry. Photo by Golffile

Shane Lowry carded a level par round 72, which contained one birdie and one bogey. It's a slow start for Lowry who  has winning the Race to Dubai within his sights.

Padraig Harrington shot a three over 75 and will need a much improved day tomorrow on a scoring course if he is to make the cut.

Tom Lewis and Matthias Schwab share the lead heading into round two of the Turkish Airlines Open after a low scoring opening day at The Montgomerie Maxx Royal.

Perfect conditions greeted the elite field gathered for the sixth Rolex Series event of the 2019 Race to Dubai and it was Lewis and Schwab who took best advantage, carding rounds of 65 to get to seven under.

They had an elite chasing pack behind them, however, with Ryder Cup stars Alex Noren and Thomas Pieters, and two time European Tour winner David Lipsky just a shot back.

Two time defending champion Justin Rose finished with three birdies to sit at five under alongside fellow double Rolex Series champion Danny Willett, Belgian Thomas Detry, Frenchman Benjamin Hebert, Scotland's Scott Jamieson and Dutchman Joost Luiten.

Austrian Schwab has nine top tens so far this season, including two top fives in his last three events at the Italian Open - his best finish in a Rolex Series event - and on debut at the WGC-HSBC Champions.
 

Matthias Schwab (AUT) - Lyoness Open 2017 - PI-090617-671

Matthias Schwab. Photo by Golffile 

"I'm just trying to give it my best," he said as he searches for a maiden victory. "Every time I tee it up, it seems to be working well the last few months but I have no recipe.

"It was a very good round for me. I got off to a nice start, five under through eight, and managed to keep the momentum going on the back nine. I was hitting it nicely today and made a few putts so overall it was a good day for me."

Lewis' two European Tour wins have both come at the Portugal Masters and the Englishman birdied six of his last seven holes in Antalya to rocket up the leaderboard.

"I holed a lot of putts out there," he said. "It just happened to be my back nine and I had good fun. The course suits me and hopefully, I can make more tomorrow."
 
Lipsky birded the tenth and 11th and then made a hat-trick of gains from the 13th to take the early lead but he dropped a shot on the next before picking it back up on the first.

That left the American in a five way tie at the top and he had Pieters and Schwab for company.

Schwab birdied the first and eagled the fourth from ten feet before playing an excellent approach to the sixth.

He went birdie-bogey before the turn but then took advantage of the par five 11th.


BMW PGA 2019 _B7E1268
Thomas Pieters. Photo by Golffile 


Pieters eagled the par five first and the Belgian finished the front nine with a pair of birdies before driving the green at the 362 yard par four tenth for another gain.

Lipsky edged ahead with a beautiful chip to set up a birdie on the fourth but he was soon caught by a charging Lewis.

The 28-year-old had turned in 34 with two birdies and a bogey but picked up shots on the 12th, 13th, 15th and 16th before holing a 20 footer on the penultimate hole to share top spot.

Schwab played a lovely chip on the 13th to help make it a three way share but Lewis holed from 15 feet on the last to edge ahead and set the target.
 
He was joined by Schwab, who got up and down for a birdie on the last, while Pieters also closed with a gain after hitting the green in two at the par five.

Noren is a two time Rolex Series winner and the Swede was bogey free in his 66, picking up shots on the fourth, seventh, eighth, 13th, 15th and last.

There were ten players three shots off the lead.

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