Golf: Graeme McDowell off to solid start in Germany

Graeme McDowell
Graeme McDowell

Former US Open champion Graeme McDowell, who admitted on Wednesday he is looking to “resurrect” his season after one top-10 finish all year, carded a 68 on the opening day of the Porsche European Open.

The Northern Ireland player’s score was matched by Germany’s Max Kieffer, who is looking to make the cut in his 22nd consecutive stroke play event, which would be the longest active streak on the European Tour.

Australia’s Richard Green is on course to turn the tables on the tournament sponsors after carding an opening 65.

Green is a motorsport enthusiast and raced a Porsche GT3 in Norway last week, an expensive hobby meaning he would no doubt relish claiming the first prize of £245,000 on offer at Bad Griesbach Golf Resort.

“Porsche is one of my favourite automobiles out there. I have two myself so they’ve made their bucks out of me,” the 44-year-old left-hander said after firing six birdies and no bogeys to finish one shot behind Bernd Wiesberger and Benjamin Hebert.

“I race one and I have a GT3 at home. I love them. They are an awesome car so to see them as a sponsor this week has a good feeling. The European Open is a big tournament, it has a prestigious name, and it is one I would like on my list.”

Hebert carded eight birdies and one bogey in his 64, which was matched by a flawless effort from world number 30 Wiesberger, the highest ranked player in the field.

Green was joined on six under by playing partner Richard Bland, Graeme Storm and Darren Fichardt, with 58-year-old course designer Bernhard Langer just a shot behind alongside American Hunter Mahan on a day of low scoring.

Storm is ranked 127th on the Race to Dubai and needs a strong finish to keep his card for next season, something he managed last year when losing out in a play-off for the European Masters, having won a BMWi8 for a hole-in-one in the third round.