CRANS MONTANA, Switzerland, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy fired an 8-under-par 63 Thursday to seize a three-stroke lead through 18 holes of the European Masters golf tournament.
The 19-year-old golfer shot his career-low single round at the Crans-sur-Sierre golf course in Crans Montana, Switzerland, and leads European tour veterans Kyron Sullivan, Julio Zapata and Garry Houston by the three-stroke margin heading into Friday's second round.
"About time," the 2006 European Amateur champion told reporters. "Golf's such a fickle game, I could go and play better than that and shoot level par."
"I love to play on tour, but have not had much fun," said Zapata, who has not won a tournament since he turned pro in 2007. "I have not played well up to now. I need to be patient and today I am very happy."
Defending champion Brett Rumford of Australia opened with a 4-under 67, joining seven others in fifth place.