Cape City – Englishman Paul Casey leads the best way after the primary spherical of the European Open in Germany after firing a six-under-par 66.
For years a daily fixture on the European Tour, Casey now plies his commerce on the PGA Tour within the states the place he claimed back-to-back victories on the Valspar Championship in 2018 and 2019.
The final of his 13 wins in Europe dates all the best way again to the KLM Open in 2014, however the 42-year-old has put himself in pole place for win No 14 after producing a barnstorming end on the Inexperienced Eagle Golf Programs in Hamburg.
After posting two birdies and a bogey in his first 10 holes, Casey completed with 5 birdies in his final eight holes to rocket up the leaderboard and set the first-round benchmark.
“It was a extremely good spherical of golf,” Casey mentioned. “Yeah positive, there have been just a few putts that slid by however that’s such a troublesome golf course. I can’t clarify how troublesome that golf course is.
“I used to be proud of the persistence I used to be exhibiting and the standard of the ball-striking, and right here I stand even happier as a result of the rating doesn’t do it justice as that is likely one of the most interesting rounds I’ve performed this yr.
“The rating was nice. I couldn’t have hoped for higher. I’m blissful to be below par, by no means thoughts six.”
Mendacity one shot behind the Englishman is Matthias Schwab of Austria, who continued his latest run of fine kind with a gap 67 to lie in solo second place.
Schwab is coming off back-to-back high 10 finishes in Czechoslovakia and Switzerland, and had a powerful spherical that included an eagle, 4 birdies and a bogey.
Sharing third place an additional shot behind are Scotland’s Robert Macintyre, Englishman Ben Stow and Germany’s Max Rottluff, a participant ranked 880th on this planet however who appeared to relish enjoying on his residence soil.
One other trio observe on three below – Sweden’s Alexander Bjork, Australian Lucas Herbert and Ben Evans, the third Englishman within the high 10.
A number of different PGA Tour regulars have joined Casey in Hamburg this week, however none of them completed below par.
Xander Schauffele, whose father is from Germany, opened with a one-over 73, whereas Patrick Reed and Matt Kuchar each had 74s.
Main first spherical scores on the EPGA European Open on Thursday (GBR&IRL until said, par 72)
66 – Paul Casey
67 – Matthias Schwab (AUT)
68 – Max Rotluff (GER), Ben Stow, Robert MacIntyre
69 – Lucas Herbert (AUS), Alexander Bjrk (SWE), Ben Evans
70 – Thomas Pieters (BEL), Pablo Larrazabal (ESP), Kristian Krogh (NOR), Pedro Figueiredo (POR)
71 – Adam Bland (AUS), Bernd Wiesberger (AUT), Lasse Jensen (DEN), Ignacio Elvira (ESP), Emilio Cuartero (ESP), Bernd Ritthammer (GER), Padraig Harrington, Guido Migliozzi (ITA), Niklas Lemke (SWE), Ashley Chesters