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Friday, 19 March 2010
KLM Open -Round One  (Getty Images)
KLM Open -Round One (Getty Images)

Paul McGinley began the KLM Open in The Netherlands exactly as he finished it last year - with a six under par 64.

Runner-up to Darren Clarke on the same Kennemer course 12 months ago, McGinley this time shared the early lead with Scotland’s Gary Orr.

It could have been even better for the 42 year old Dubliner, though. He was seven under after only 12 holes and three clear of the field.

Without a win since the 2005 Volvo Masters, McGinley turned in a four under 30 after four successive birdies from the 12th, eagled the 570 yard second and birdied the next before dropping his only stroke of the day at the short eighth.

"The game is moving very much into a power game, so it's refreshing to play an old-fashioned type of course," said McGinley.

"My season's been flat. I've not played well enough - no excuses - and I need to do better."

Orr, also 42, is seeking his first victory for nine years and a five iron to four feet for eagle on the 12th was the highlight of his bogey free round.

“I hit the ball well off the tee, and if you get in a decent position you can attack the flags,” said Orr. “The conditions were perfect - there was a bit of breeze, but you needed that to keep cool. It's a course I enjoy playing, because it's very fair. If you drive the ball well, you can attack the flags but if you stray off line you can get punished.

“I've been playing pretty well lately, just not making enough putts. I've thrown a few bad rounds in here and there, but I've done a bit of work over the past few weeks, and it seems to be working. I've been trying to find a bit more consistency, and hopefully we're getting there.”

Clarke, without a top ten since his victory, was in joint third place after a 65 comprising seven birdies and two bogeys.

"I played nicely apart from a couple of stupid schoolboy errors," said the 41 year old Ryder Cup star. "I was plugged in a bunker on the 17th and then went in a bush on the seventh (a reachable par five) and had to take a penalty drop."

Alongside him were another Irishman, Peter Lawrie, Australian Matthew Millar and also Spain's Jorge Campillo.

Double Masters Tournament champion Jose Maria Olazábal, playing with Clarke, was two under with one to play, but carved his final drive into the trees and double bogeyed.

Welsh World Cup winner Bradley Dredge did exactly the same after standing on the tee six under.

Robert-Jan Derksen gave the home support something to cheer when he holed his seven iron tee shot at the 11th to win a bottle of champagne en route to an opening round 70.

With a handful of players still to complete their first rounds play was suspended due to a thunder storm, but was due to get under way again shortly after 7pm local time.

 

 

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
T1DYSON, SimonENG18-15
T1LAWRIE, PeterIRL18-15
T1HEDBLOM, PeterSWE18-15
4MCGRANE, DamienIRL18-14
T5DONALDSON, JamieWAL18-13
T5CLARKE, DarrenNIR18-13
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