Fraser leads in Cologne21/06/2012 - 13:12:57
Australian Marcus Fraser led the way on a day of low scoring when the BMW International Open began in Cologne.
The 33-year-old from Melbourne set the early clubhouse target with an eight under par 64, only one shot off the lowest round of his European Tour career.
Fraser birdied five of his last six holes, capping things off with a 20-foot putt, but he was only one ahead of England’s Danny Willett.
The team-mate of Rory McIlroy at the 2007 Walker Cup is still seeking his first victory on the circuit, but sank a four-foot eagle putt at the long 16th as he also came home in a five under 31.
Indian Shiv Kapur, France’s Gregory Havret and South African Keith Horne all shot 66, but it was a disappointing morning for local favourite Martin Kaymer.
The former world number one managed only a one under 71, jetlag taking its toll on his return from the US Open in San Francisco.
“I only slept two hours last night,” Kaymer said.
“I made only two birdies, which is not a lot on this course.
“I didn’t drive the ball very well and it’s a shame that the greens as not as good as they were in the past.”
Colin Montgomerie, who was also in the States doing television commentary work, returned a 69 on the course where he won the German Masters back in 1998.
American John Daly, winner of the title in Munich 11 years ago, was happy with a bogey-free 68 after deciding to put no fewer than five woods in his bag.
“I hit my irons very low, but here everything is so soft and you have to hit it high,” said the former Open and USPGA champion.
“They’re a lot easier to hit, but I have to get used to them.”
Paul Lawrie, winner of the Open in 1999 and third in the current Ryder Cup standings, double-bogeyed the first – his 10th – and could do no better than a level par 72.
The afternoon starters included Sergio Garcia, back-from-injury Paul Casey and 54-year-old Bernhard Langer. Both Casey and Langer kicked off with a birdie.
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