U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick intended to adopt a bolder strategy after a poor start to the defense of his Andalucia Masters title.

Fitzpatrick claimed his seventh DP World Tour championship previous year.

But struggled to make an opening three-over par, 74, on Thursday at Valderrama to be eight shots off a five-way tie for the lead and four behind younger brother Alex.

I just felt I got lucky today, Fitzpatrick said. I was so lucky I had chips led to me in the top in foursomes, under three over par and a few over when I played.

That I handled tough enough that it was the way the golf course is; hit it in the wrong spots and I missed my shot.

Horsey played admirably, I said. If you're in the fairway, there are a number of options left.

The weather this morning was sunny, soft, and with a light breeze , it's a daydream for golf. You see it all around the world, guys throwing darts at pins, and it sticking.

Valderrama was live on seven, my 16th hole, with the double bogey. It bit me a little bit, but I would have taken that score from the beginning of the day.