It may be two years since Danny Willett (pictured by Getty Images) lifted the BMW International Open title at Gut Lärchenhof in Germany, but the Englishman picked up from exactly where he had left off during yesterday’s furst round to post s fine eight under 64 to join Rafa Cabrera Bello in a share for the lead.
On a day of low scoring just outside Dusseldorf, US Open champion Martin Kaymer’s return to action following the second major victory of his career saw his home crowd turn out in force to see the 29 year old post a one under 71 Gut Lärchenhof.
That left Kaymer in a tie for 66th place on a hugely congested leaderboard which also World Number Two Henrik Stenson at four under while World Number Eight Sergio Garcia joined Kaymer on one under.
Martin Kaymer: “It was a tough day for me on the greens. It was very, very playable today. I think it was the best conditions you can get here, but I didn’t make many putts, especially the last five holes, while was on the green, it was probably the worst I can do and unfortunately I couldn’t make any putts coming in.
“There are so many people that come out and expect you to play well and they expect you to play at least as good as two weeks ago. That’s the way Germans are. But you have to lower your expectations which is quite difficult. But, you know, it’s nice to play here even though it’s quite exhausting. There’s a lot to do.”
Danny Willett: “We haven’t missed a cut all year. I Had to pull out of two events with a bad back, but we are playing some good golf and working really hard on the greens and it’s starting to pay off nicely because you can turn average rounds into great rounds quite quickly when you hole a few nice putts.
“It’s always nice to come back to a place you have won. Hopefully there’s many more to come on different courses around the world. You remember where you hit shots from and did certain things from. It’s nice to come back. Today felt very easy. You kind of know your way around a bit more.”
Rafa Cabrera Bello: “It’s really, really a good way to start. I made four birdies on the front nine and three birdies on the back nine. What I enjoyed most about the round was that I played pretty steady and I didn’t have like a really high dip or any lows or anything. I was just playing steady golf in the entire four and a half hours that we have been out there, so really, really pleased.”
First Round Golf Scores:
64 D Willett (Eng) ; R Cabrera-Bello (Esp) ;
66 G Storm (Eng) ; E Grillo (Arg) ; M Hoey (Nir) ; G Stal (Fra) ; A Sullivan (Eng) ; A Hansen (Den) ; A Quiros (Esp) ;
67 N Elvira (Esp) ; S Walker (Eng) ; M Jiménez (Esp) ; B Grace (RSA) ; T Lewis (Eng) ; J Campillo (Esp) ; S Lowry (Irl) ; R Wattel (Fra) ; G Bhullar (Ind) ;
68 K Phelan (Irl) ; S Kjeldsen (Den) ; D Im (USA) ; B Wiesberger (Aut) ; R Karlsson (Swe) ; M Ilonen (Fin) ; J Carlsson (Swe) ; J Dantorp (Swe) ; A Lahiri (Ind) ; H Stenson (Swe) ; A Cejka (Ger) ; R Gonzalez (Arg) ; M Baldwin (Eng) ; A Hartø (Den) ; C Del Moral (Esp) ;
69 P Larrazábal (Esp) ; M Nixon (Eng) ; M Schneider (Ger) ; N Colsaerts (Bel) ; C Lee (Sco) ; T Hatton (Eng) ; M Kieffer (Ger) ; D Howell (Eng) ; A Wall (Eng) ; S Dyson (Eng) ; M Korhonen (Fin) ; J Morrison (Eng) ; D McGrane (Irl) ;
70 J Knutzon (USA) ; A Cañizares (Esp) ; R Fisher (Eng) ; A Saddier (Fra) ; M Foster (Eng) ; T Björn (Den) ; T Fleetwood (Eng) ; J Daly (USA) ; T Aiken (RSA) ; N Fasth (Swe) ; M Madsen (Den) ; C Wood (Eng) ; J Hansen (Den) ; S Manley (Wal) ; A Levy (Fra) ; D Horsey (Eng) ; V Riu (Fra) ; M Siem (Ger) ;
71 W Ormsby (Aus) ; E De La Riva (Esp) ; G Maybin (Nir) ; S Wakefield (Eng) ; J Walters (RSA) ; G Havret (Fra) ; A Gee (Eng) ; S Garcia (Esp) ; J Donaldson (Wal) ; M Kaymer (Ger) ; F Molinari (Ita) ; D Huizing (Ned) ; J Quesne (Fra) ; T Jaidee (Tha) ; R Ramsay (Sco) ; J Doherty (Sco) ; S Khan (Eng) ; J Singh (Ind) ; V Dubuisson (Fra) ; D Foos (am) (Ger) ;
72 B Paolini (USA) ; K Broberg (Swe) ; A Forsyth (Sco) ; R Bland (Eng) ; M Carlsson (Swe) ; T Pieters (Bel) ; E Molinari (Ita) ; P Lawrie (Sco) ; E Goya (Arg) ; C Doak (Sco) ; O Fisher (Eng) ; F Zanotti (Par) ; G Coetzee (RSA) ; J Kruger (RSA) ; P Waring (Eng) ; R Green (Aus) ; R Finch (Eng) ; A Kaleka (Fra) ; A Otaegui (Esp) ; F Aguilar (Chi) ; E Pepperell (Eng) ; J Lara (Esp) ; R Jacquelin (Fra) ; D Drysdale (Sco) ; P McGinley (Irl) ; T Levet (Fra) ;
73 B Rumford (Aus) ; F Calmels (Fra) ; R Rock (Eng) ; R Santos (Por) ; S Kapur (Ind) ; P Lawrie (Irl) ; M Lundberg (Swe) ; L Slattery (Eng) ; M Crespi (Ita) ; P Casey (Eng) ; J Lima (Por) ; C Arendell (USA) ; M Röhrig (am) (Ger) ;
74 S Hansen (Den) ; W Huang (Chn) ; D Lynn (Eng) ; A Knappe (Ger) ; P Hedblom (Swe) ; J Edfors (Swe) ; J Parry (Eng) ;
75 S Jamieson (Sco) ; M Warren (Sco) ; E Dubois (Fra) ; J Heath (Eng) ; M Kramer (Ger) ; D Higgins (Irl) ; J Jeong (Kor) ; M Glauert (Ger) ; R Kakko (Fin) ; D Fichardt (RSA) ; J McLeary (Sco) ; A Kirstein (Ger) ;
76 N Dougherty (Eng) ; A Pavan (Ita) ; T Olesen (Den) ; L Bjerregaard (Den) ; P Price (Wal) ; S Thornton (Irl) ; P Sjöland (Swe) ;
77 S Kim (Kor) ; D Brooks (Eng) ; J Olazábal (Esp) ;
79 M Grönberg (Swe) ;
80 P Uihlein (USA) ; P Whiteford (Sco) ;
83 F Andersson Hed (Swe) ;
Source: European Tour