European Tour

Schwartzel impresses in Hamburg

Charl Schwartzel (AP)
Charl Schwartzel (AP)

Hamburg - Charl Schwartzel impressed on the opening day of the European Open in Hamburg on Thursday, as American Julian Suri and Richard McEvoy took a share of the lead.

Suri carded five birdies on the back nine for a 66 to sit alongside England's McEvoy, who posted a bogey-free effort, on six under par.

South African Schwartzel is just a stroke further back on five-under, alongside defending champion Alexander Levy, Chris Paisley and Welshman Stuart Manley.

Schwartzel, the highest-ranked player in the field at world number 21, took full advantage of the par fives to sign for an excellent round of 67.

The former Masters winner eagled the 15th hole and birdied the 18th after starting on the back nine.

A closing birdie on the par-five ninth could have been far better, after his second shot with a fairway wood hit the flagstick before settling 25 feet from the cup.

"On 18 I hit a fantastic shot and then finishing off today on nine, I hit the flag again with two fairway woods and that doesn't happen very often but you know I played well this morning," he told the European Tour's official website.

American Ryder Cup star Patrick Reed, making a rare appearance on the European Tour, mixed five birdies with one bogey in a round of 68 to sit in a nine-strong group on four-under.

Leading European Open first round scores at the Green Eagle Golf Course in Hamburg on Thursday (GBR/IRL unless stated, par 72):

66 - Julian Suri (USA), Richard McEvoy

67 - Alexander Levy (FRA), Charl Schwartzel (RSA), Stuart Manley, Chris Paisley

68 - Craig Lee, Jens Fahrbring (SWE), Ashley Chesters, Jose-Filipe Lima (POR), Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA), Laurie Canter, Stephen Gallacher, Eduardo De La Riva (ESP), Patrick Reed (USA)

69 - Maximilian Kieffer (GER), Felipe Aguilar (COL), Peter Hanson (SWE), Chase Koepka (USA), Sean Crocker (USA), Benjamin Hebert (FRA), Nacho Elvira (ESP), Rikard Karlberg (SWE), Steven Tiley, Raphael Jacquelin (FRA), Lee Slattery, Marcel Siem (GER), Tom Lewis, Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN), Jamie Donaldson, Gregory Bourdy (FRA), Poom Saksansin (THA)

70 - Matt Wallace, Will Zalatoris (USA), Robert Rock, Ryan McCarthy (AUS), Trevor Fisher Jnr (RSA), Bradley Dredge, Pontus Widegren (SWE), Richie Ramsay, Magnus A Carlsson (SWE), Paul McBride, Zander Lombard (RSA), Heinrich Arkenau (GER), Siddikur Rahman (BAN), Sebastien Gros (FRA), Chris Hanson, Jordan Smith, Richard Sterne (RSA)

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