Thursday, 10 August 2006

(Reuters) - Denmark's Anders Hansen battled against a strong wind and a stiff neck to take an early share of the lead in The KLM Open with a six under par 65 at the Kennemer Golf & Country Club.

Without the advantage of a practice round, Hansen relied on a new set of clubs and a hot putter to share the lead with France’s Christian Cévaër.

With just days to go before he flies out to play in the final Major of the season, the US PGA Championship, Hansen hopes his neck pain will go away before he tackles Medinah.

"I just woke up with the bad neck yesterday," he said. "I wanted to play the course because I'd never seen it before but I could only chip, so I had to withdraw from the pro-am.

"I had it treated by the physios but it still isn't good. I hope it's going to get better over the next days." Hansen included three twenth birdie putts and a ten footer for eagle on his card.

"All in all it was a strange situation with not playing the course until today but I putted well, the greens were magnificent, and I wasn't that concerned because I knew I was playing well.

"I came here to try to warm up for next week with new clubs in the bag. The long irons carry better. I know I'm going to have to hit the ball higher."

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