Hatton seeks his fifth European Tour title -6 T Hatton (Eng), J Harding (SA), A Arnaus (Spa); -5 G Green (Mal), E. Pepperell (Eng), S Lowry (Ire), M Fitzpatrick (Eng); -4 M Schwab (Aut), A Rai (Eng), S Hend (Aus), JB Hansen (Den), J Rose (Eng), W Ormsby (Aus), R Fox (NZ) Selected others: -3 I Poulter (Eng), A Johnston (Eng); -2 P Reed (US), L Westwood (Eng); – 1 T Fleetwood (Eng), D Willett (Eng); +1 G McDowell (NI), MA Jimenez (Spa); +8 T Bjorn (Den)
Englishman Tyrrell Hatton shares the lead after the opening round of the BMW PGA Championship in Wentworth.
The 28-year-old number 15 in the world from Buckinghamshire started in ninth place, charting an eagle and five birdies in a six-under 66 on the West track.
His 66th was matched by bogey-free rounds from Justin Harding and Adri Arnaus.
Open Champion Shane Lowry birdied six of the last 10 holes to get one behind while England's Justin Rose showed a welcome return to form on four under.
Ian Poulter fought his entire round with a stiff back to finish in third bottom while American Patrick Reed has four of the lead and Tommy Fleetwood one battle back.
Early starter Hatton dropped his lone strike of the day after pulling his drive on the short par-four seventh, but reconciled by rolling in a birdie on the next.
Playing partner Reed needed an invitation from a sponsor to participate in the event after missing the registration deadline, but he had four consecutive birdies for a double bogey halfway through his round. his last hole, after his second shot found water around the green.
World No. 14 Fleetwood, who lost a playoff to Aaron Rai at last week's Scottish Open, was four after seven holes, but birdied the last three for a 71.
In-form Rai had a bogey-free 68 after birding three of his first seven holes in damp, overcast morning conditions, a score later matched by Olympic champion Rose, who hasn't had a good 2020 since parting ways with coach Sean Foley.
Poulter, who worked with Rose in the quiet late afternoon conditions, underwent treatment for his back injury early on in his lap, but drove the last from 5 meters to a 69.
Defending champion Danny Willett, who continued his poor run by missing the cut last week, birdied the latter for a 71.