Ace gives Moore early momentum

Moore had already birdied the first, second and fourth on the West Course before holing out from 108 yards with a sand wedge on the fifth to move to five under par.

Another birdie on the ninth took Moore to the turn in just 30 shots and at six under par he shared the lead with American Sihwan Kim, who was playing in the group ahead.

Kim carded five birdies in a front nine of 31 and picked up further shots on the 11th and 12th to take the outright lead before dropping his first shot of the day on the 14th.

The 210-strong field is split between the East and West Courses for the first two rounds, with the final 36 holes played on the tougher East Course.

European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke was among the later starters and hoping that his new role will actually help, rather than hinder, his game.

Clarke has not recorded a top-10 finish on the European Tour since winning the Open in 2011 but said: “Obviously my own competitive instincts haven’t been too good of late and the captaincy might actually be a blessing in disguise in terms of my golf because it will take my mind away from practising too hard and I’ll have a lot of things to focus on.

“Hopefully it will help me play a little bit better. Certainly this year I don’t think the captaincy will make an awful lot of difference, but I would imagine next year it would make a big difference in my playing schedule.”

Moore carded birdies on the 15th and 17th to complete an opening 63, one shot outside the course record, to set the early clubhouse target on eight under par.

However, that target did not look like it would survive for long, with Belgium’s Thomas Pieters holing from 18 feet for an eagle on the par-five 15th to move nine under.

Pieters had carded five birdies in a front nine of 31 and picked up further shots on the 10th and 12th before reducing the 535-yard 15th to a drive and a nine iron.

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