VYSOKY UJEZD, Czech Republic - Callum Shinkwin shot an opening 6-under 66 Thursday to take the lead at the D+D Real Czech Masters.
After finishing second last month at the Scottish Open - his best result on the European Tour so far - the 24-year-old Englishman opened with a birdie at the Albatross Golf Resort near Prague.
Enjoying sunny conditions early in the day that changed to rain later, Shinkwin dropped one shot at the third hole and another on No. 14 but also added seven more birdies for a one-stroke lead.
''It was very good today,'' Shinkwin said. ''My iron play to be fair was probably my strongest part but everything was good, and if everything is good you can't really score bad.''
Pontus Widegren of Sweden, South African Dylan Frittelli and another Englishman James Heath are all tied in second after carding 67. A group of eight, including American Julian Suri who won the Made in Denmark event on Sunday, is one stroke behind them.
Paul Peterson of the United States opened the defense of his title with a 3-under 69.
Starting on the back-nine, Eddie Pepperell eagled the par-5 No. 12 and added four birdies to join fellow Englishman Shinkwin at the top of the leaderboard before falling back with a couple of double-bogeys on the front nine to finish with 69.
The Czech event marks the beginning of a year-long qualification process for an automatic spot on Europe's team for the 2018 Ryder Cup.