Four-way tie at The Grove

Four-way tie at The Grove

Scotland's Marc Warren is in a four-way share of the British Masters lead after carding a five-under-par 66 on day one.

Warren, who recently revealed a £30 training aid saved his European Tour card, made four birdies, an eagle and just the one bogey to set the early pace in Hertfordshire.

The Scot, who has slipped to world number 176, has not picked up a win since the 2014 Made In Denmark tournament but he remains right in contention after the opening 18 holes.

He is joined on that mark by Finland's Mikko Ilonen, Englishman Tommy Fleetwood and South African Richard Sterne - with the latter two both enjoying a bogey-free round.

There is a whole host of players just one shot off the lead including Lee Westwood, who recently spoke of his disappointment at letting down Europe captain Darren Clarke at the 2016 Ryder Cup.

The former world number one made six birdies and two bogeys for a round of 67, leaving him nicely placed going into Friday’s play.

Westwood is joined on that mark by Sweden’s Alex Noren and the English five-piece of Andrew Johnston, James Morrison, Richard Bland, Lee Slattery and David Horsey.

Alfred Dunhill Links Champion Tyrrell Hatton heads a group of nine a further stroke behind the leaders on -3.

Tournament host Luke Donald endured a miserable first day as he laboured to a six-over-par 77 in a round that included five bogeys, one double-bogey and a single birdie.

Injury has also forced four players to withdraw from the competition with Masters champion Danny Willett pulling out with a back problem before the first tee.

Welshman Jamie Donaldson and the English duo of Seve Benson and Simon Dyson have also pulled out after suffering from their respective problems.