Austria's Schwab puts US PGA pain behind him at British Masters

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Fine start - Austria's Matthias Schwab shot a six-under-par 66 in the first round of the British Masters

Matthias Schwab set the early pace in the British Masters with a six-under-par 66 in the first round at The Belfry on Wednesday.

The Austrian, somewhat surprisingly denied a place in the field for next week's US PGA Championship, the second major of the year, shot seven birdies and just a single bogey.

Scotland's Calum Hill was just one stroke behind in second place.

But compatriot Robert McIntyre, who as the world number 45 is the top-ranked player in the field, was five shots off the lead following a 71.

Meanwhile Germany's Martin Kaymer, a two-time major winner, was even further back after a 74.

McIntyre and Kaymer, however, will both travel to Kiawah Island for the PGA Championship but a quirk of the qualifying system means Schwab is set to miss out.

Players inside the world's top 100 are invited to the tournament, with more added if they are required to complete the field.

Twelve players outside the top 100 on May 9 received invitations, with 10 of those ranked between 101 and 122.

But Schwab, the world number 113, missed out.

"I have no idea where I am on the alternate list. They don't really communicate anything," Schwab told Britain's Press Association agency.

"But I should have played better the last few weeks and that would have taken care of it. If I get in by Friday or Saturday I would love to play in it, but I wouldn't travel as an alternate.

"I'm focused on the European Tour and there's no guarantee, even if you play, that will earn ranking points."


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