Russian Open champion, Michael Hoey, showed no signs of competitive rust on his return to action at the Johnnie Walker Championship on Thursday.
Three weeks after his fifth Euro Tour victory, Hoey carded a four under par round of 68 at Gleneagles to trail the early pacesetters Austrian Bernd Wiesberger and Argentine Ricardo Gonzalez by three shots.
“It’s always nice to get a break but guess in a way I have maintained my momentum from Russia by carding a good score today. It’s my best score around this course,” said Michael.
“I didn’t putt that well, but I took advantage of the par fives. The course was playing really good, a bit firmer than in previous years and the greens were a lot quicker which obviously bodes well for the Ryder Cup next year.
“It’s a good course. It’s quite exciting. You can make eagles, some of the par fives were reachable today and there are good scores out there but if you get out of position it can catch you out as well.”
Michael was joined on four under by Gareth Maybin, Shane Lowry and Ryder Cup captain, Paul McGinley. They are all tied 14th, but Gareth Shaw opened with a two over 74 that left him in a tie for 120th.
The leaders have a one-shot lead over in-form Australian Brett Rumford, Spain’s Ignacio Garrido, Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee and English trio Oliver Fisher, Ross Fisher and Mark Foster.