Australian Lawson set the early clubhouse target after a round which included nine birdies, five of those consecutively from the 12th hole. Two early birdies were cancelled out by bogeys on the seventh and eighth holes, but a birdie on the ninth started a run of seven gains in eight holes.
“I was hitting it steady but made a couple of little errors late on the front nine,” said Lawson. “I stayed positive and shot-by-shot. I didn’t realise I’d made that many birdies in a row, after the ninth I had six more in seven holes. I just tried to hit each shot as good as I can, not worrying about what it was for – for bogey or birdie.
“The views are great here, so you just have to look around when you’re a bit frustrated and take your mind off golf. These hills take your mind off golf pretty quickly. All in all it’s a good start and a good position after round one.”
Matus, of the Czech Republic, joined Lawson in a share of the lead after finishing his round in the evening, going bogey-free in the Austrian Alps.
“I love this place,” said Matus. “Diamond (Country Club) wasn’t suiting me that well last week but I really like to shape the ball here. I enjoyed the company of my group and tried to enjoy the day – it was beautiful, it was supposed to rain but it didn’t, what else can I ask for?
“The course suits me really well. I can aim at points or hit little bounces. I don’t like courses where I can’t see the targets. Here I can see them all. I read my putts very well, on the front nine I think I had ten putts – that helped as well.
“I wasn’t really expecting much because I wasn’t hitting the ball great on the range. But yesterday I went on the course because I knew I’d be playing late today, just to get some feel. I got the feel, so I enjoyed it a lot today.”
The pair are one stroke ahead of Sweden’s Philip Eriksson, who also started strongly at last week’s Austrian Open, Oliver Lindell of Finland and Englishman Jordan Wrisdale on six under par. Both Eriksson and Wrisdale were also bogey-free, while Lindell carded eight birdies.
Nine players share sixth place on five under par, including Matus’ compatriot Ondrej Lieser, who made a hole-in-one on the 12th after holing out with a pitching wedge. A further nine players share 15th on four under par, rounding out a congested top 20.
European Tour Release, July 16, 2020