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

Defending champion Darren Clarke found himself part of a seven-way tie for the lead as he resumed the KLM Open in The Netherlands.

Clarke and Swede Peter Hedblom were out in front at eight under par overnight, but the race for a first prize of €300,000 became wide open before they hit another shot.

Hedblom's fellow countryman Alexander Noren was the first to join them, a six under 64 being just one outside the Kennemer course record set by England's Marcus Higley and then equalled by Spaniard Alejandro Cañizares.

“It felt great. It’s so nice to hit some good shots,” said Noren. “I had so many chances. I thought to myself: ‘This is how you should be playing every week’.”

The son of former Ryder Cup player Jose Maria Cañizares then made it a four-way tie with three birdies in his first five holes.

Next onto the mark was Australian Terry Pilkadaris - and this just four days after he woke up in Melbourne to discover there was a chance for him to play the event - before Scotland's former Open Championship winner Paul Lawrie and Ireland's Peter Lawrie also reached eight under.

As Clarke and Hedblom played the first, Pilkadaris reached nine under with his third birdie at the 419 yard fifth and then Peter Lawrie made it a double birdie start to go alongside him.

Welshman Sion Bebb had been called into the tournament even later than Pilkadaris after Iceland's Birgir Hafthorsson withdrew on Thursday morning and he got in on the picture as well at seven under before double bogeying the short 17th for a 67.

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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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