Betfred British Masters: Thorbjorn Olesen and Ryan Fox set the pace at The Belfry

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Thorbjorn Olesen and Ryan Fox are the early pacesetters following round one of the Betfred British Masters at The Belfry after the duo fired six-under-par 66s.

They lead by a shot from Germany's Hurly Long, Scotsman Richie Ramsay and Ashun Wu of China, who all carded 67s at the former Ryder Cup venue.

Dane Olesen posted the early clubhouse lead in the morning and New Zealand's Fox matched it in the afternoon. Olsesen said later: "Obviously a good start with birdie on ten, my first hole. Thought I played really well. Thought I've had some good rounds this year and just haven't finished it off. "It was really nice to get that up-and-down on the last and have that momentum and not make a bogey today. I was really pleased with that. "We've had a lot of rain, so it's soft; you and don't get much roll on the fairways. But obviously the key here is hitting the fairways and I missed that on 9 and had to chip out and get up-and-down for it. "There's a few tee shots out there that's quite tricky where you really have to hit good shots." Fox reflected: "I hit it really solid, maybe one tee shot on the second which looked a little dicey but hit a lot of wedge shots close and took advantage on a couple of the hard holes on 12 and 18.

"Holed a couple of 40-footers which is always nice to keep the round going and. "I did everything pretty well which is nice and had a good group to play with with Thomas and Jack, and we had a few laughs out there, especially on 10. It was just a nice day. "It's a fun golf course to play. I grew up on this kind of grass as well. So it fits quite nicely in my head. "Kind of know what it's going to do and how it's going to react and just went out and tried to hit a couple of shots and did that well."

How do Olesen and Fox fare with the 18-hole lead?

This is Olesen's seventh first-round lead on the DP World Tour. He converted one of the previous six but at the Scottish Open seven years ago he went from leading after day one to missing the cut! 2021 Tenerife Open - 12th 2017 PGA Championship - 44th 2015 Scottish Open - MC 2015 Mauritius Open - 2nd 2014 Perth International - 1st 2012 Lyoness Open - 5th Fox went wire-to-wire the last time he held an 18-hole lead. That came at February's Ras al Khaimah Classic.

2022 Ras al Khaimah Classic - 1st 2019 Open de France - 18th 2018 Irish Open - 2nd The Kiwi also scored a pillar-to-post victory in a Challenge Tour event in 2015 so he's been a decent front runner. Looking at Fox's first-round leads across all tours, his final finishes were: 1-18-2-4-3-1-3-2. On past evidence, Fox looks a better bet than Olesen to stay high on the leaderboard and perhaps even lift the trophy on Sunday evening.

READ: Wells Fargo Championship: Defending champion Rory McIlroy unfazed by new venue, makes strong start

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