German amateur Christian Reimbold proved the star on a perfect opening day to the Galeria Kaufhof Pokal Challenge in Germany. He showed everyone a clean pair of heels by trimming the course record with a brilliant 10-birdie 63.
Reimbold, beaten finalist in last year's Amateur Championship at Hoylake, was out in 30 strokes with six birdies from the 10th tee and collected four more in a homeward 33 to trim a shot off the previous best mark at the Golfpark Rittergut Birkhof.
It leaves him the 22 year old German international two strokes clear of fellow German, Tino Schuster, and England's Robert McGuirk, who both had their lowest Challenge Tour returns.
“I just can’t believe it,” said Reimbold, who seems destined for a glittering future. “I just played solid and my longest putt was eight metres on the first hole.”
If you were looking for a course favourite then it had to be Reimbold. He lives just five kilometres away at Neuss and is the defending champion having won this tournament a year ago when it was a German national event.
Furthermore, he visited the course four times last week to familiarise himself with it again and it certainly paid off.
Perfect conditions with little wind and a running course, providing you kept out of the thick rough, brought a spate of low scores with 90 players bettering the par of 73.
Schuster had an eagle and seven birdies in his 65, while McGuirk reaped eight birdies from a course where all the five par fives were eagle or birdie chances.
Finland’s Mikael Piltz is alone in fourth place after a 66, while Denmark’s Mads Vibe-Hastrup, who was joint leader going into the final round of last week’s Nykredit Danish Open, is among a six-man group on 67.
Also in that group in Alex Cejka along with English duo Andrew Butterfield and Simon McCarthy, while Olivier David from France and Spain’s Raul Quiros also carded 67.
Sebastien Delagrange, seeking his third victory in a row and No.1 on the rankings, went round in 71 for joint 52nd place. That would have been fine on a normal week but it leaves him in danger of missing the cut, which seems certain to be well under par.