Earlier England’s Lee Westwood rolled in the putts and the years by charging into a share of the lead before a bogey on the par four 13th stunted his momentum.
Westwood‚ a winner here in 2010 and 2011‚ made the most of the calm‚ overcast conditions at the start with birdies at the sixth‚ seventh‚ ninth and the 11th.
Bogeys at the second and the 13th however have pegged him back.
Tournament favourite Rory McIlroy was one-under through seven after he found peril on the third. His approach plugged in a green side bunker and although he extricated himself expertly he still dropped a shot.