Japan’s Seiji Ebihara set a new course record at Haus Kambach with an opening 64, eight under par, in the inaugural Coca-Cola Kaiser Karl European Trophy in Germany to lead by two shots.
Starting at the tenth, Ebihara, playing his first season on the European Seniors Tour, opened his account with a hat-trick of birdies. Further birdies at the par four 15th and short 17th gave him an outward half of 31.
Ebihara turned for home with five straight pars but on the short sixth he alsmost holed-in-one as his four iron shot lipped out before finishing a foot from the hole. Two more birdies in the last three holes took him two clear of Australia’s Ian Stanley, whose earlier 66 equalled the old course record.
Former England table tennis player David Creamer is a further two shots adrift alongside compatriot Denis Durnian.
“Everything felt good,” said Ebihara. “The greens are superb and everything fell into place today.”
Stanley, one of the early starters set the pace when he fired six birdies to equal the course record set four years earlier by a 16-year-old. Stanley, currently 35th in the Seniors Tour Order of Merit started his round with a birdie four on the opening hole. Three more birdies on the front nine took him out in 32 and two more birdies at the par five 11th and par five 13th took him to six under. Five pars to finish left him on 66.
“The greens in Kambach are the best we’ve played all year,” said Stanley. “I drove well, hit my irons close and then putted very well. I also birdied three of the four par fives which always helps.”