Zanotti and Jacquelin lead the way

9/6/2012 12:12:20 PM
Fabrizio Zanotti   (Getty Images)
Fabrizio Zanotti (Getty Images)
Fabrizio Zanotti and Raphaël Jacquelin went round in 65 to share the morning lead on day one of the KLM Open.

Zanotti began his round with back to back birdies and picked up three further shots, including one at the last, to set the early pace.

He was soon joined on five under by Jacquelin, who also closed with a birdie - his fifth - after starting on the ninth. The Frenchman eagled the par five 12th.

“It was a great round,” said Jacquelin. “I hit the ball well and kept it on the fairway, which is key around here.

“For me the trees helped because they show me the way to go. I missed some drives in the trees but it was OK. If it is windy it is more difficult but like this it is great.”

Zanotti, joint runner-up here two years ago, was also understandably satisfied with his opening day performance.

“To go bogey free on this course was pretty good,” he said.

“I like this course. In 2010 I had a great week here and I always remember that week.

“I have been playing well and making a lot of birdies, but in the last few weeks I have also made too many mistakes. Today, there were no bogeys and it was more solid so I am happy.”

Peter Hanson was one of five players - together with last week’s runner-up Danny Willett, Craig Lee, Steve Webster and Felipe Aguilar - to shoot 66.

Hanson, part of José María Olazábal’s 12-man European Team for this month’s Ryder Cup at Medinah, moved into contention with the aid of four birdies.

A wayward tee shot led to a first bogey of the day at the sixth, his 15th hole, but the Swede responded by making up ground at the next, putting him in a tie for third.

“It's a funny feel because we work so much this week, in the gym and practising so much,” Hanson explained.

“I spent at least ten hours on this range which is unusual for a tournament week but it is all about preparation (for the Ryder Cup) and we still have two and a half weeks before we get to Chicago.

“It is all about getting everything into place, physically and mentally, to be ready when we start.”

Hanson certainly enjoyed conditions at Hilversumsche GC, adding: “On the European Tour I would rank this as one of the top three courses.

“It is very close to what I grew up on with pine trees. So I feel a little at home here.”

Among those a shot further back at three under was Paul Casey; he registered five birdies in seven holes from the 18th in a morale-boosting display coming on the back of seven successive missed cuts.