Local hero Joost Luiten delighted the home fans by opening up a one-shot lead on the first day of the 2022 Dutch Open as he bids for a third victory at his home tournament.
The 36-year-old Dutchman, who won the KLM Open in 2013 and 2016, shot an opening 65 at Bernardus Golf to get to seven under par, one stroke clear of Englishman Eddie Pepperell and Denmark's Rasmus Højgaard.
Luiten very nearly led by two but his 44-foot eagle putt on the 18th refused to drop despite hitting the hole.
The six-time DP World Tour winner began his round with a birdie on the opening hole and reeled off three consecutive gains at the fourth, fifth and sixth as he went out in 32.
A bogey on the par-four 11th looked to have put a halt on his march up the leaderboard but Luiten kept his cool to claim that shot back on the next.
His luck was certainly in on the par-three 13th as Luiten's tee-shot hit the branches of a greenside tree and his ball ended up on the edge of the putting surface.
Luiten's 16-foot putt gave him a birdie and left him a stroke behind the early leaders in the clubhouse - Pepperell and Højgaard.
He then holed his birdie putt from just under six feet on the 15th before very nearly going on to grab a two-shot lead at the last.
But when Luiten's eagle putt from range lipped out on the par-five 18th he was still able to claim a birdie to sign for a 65.
He said: “It could have been better but you know, I won’t be too picky!
"I have been struggling a bit with my game, so it was great to see the score today and for some reason I just love playing in front of the home crowd.
"I got off to a fast start and I kept it going, seven under is a good day in these conditions.
“I think for me because there is so much going on around you, I need to get into my own little bubble and just do my thing, and for some reason when there is a lot more people than I am used to I’m better at it, or it makes you go into that place.
"So that is the place I am trying to find every day but obviously you have to pretend like the crowd is there all the time and it’s hard, but I have been able to do it today so hopefully we keep it going.
“It was tough in the afternoon, the wind was blowing, there were some tricky holes into the wind so anything under par would have been a good score I think in the afternoon, but I was three or four under after six so you adjust what you want to make and I think seven under is good.
"I really went down that last hole trying to make a birdie to lead on my own and that is always cool."
Marcel Schneider, Mikko Korhonen, Victor Perez and Andrea Pavan were in a tie for fourth on five under after their opening 67s.