Paul Casey leads European Open as American stars struggle in first round

Paul Casey defied conditions and a golf course that was tough to claim the lead at the Porsche European Open.
Casey birdied five of their last eight holes in the Green Eagle Golf Club at Hamburg to cap a high-quality, six-under 66 and earn a one-shot lead within an in-form Matthias Schwab, whereas Xander Schauffele, Patrick Reed and Matt Kuchar all finished the round over par.
Schauffele is best placed on a single over, with Kuchar and Reed, who birdied the last three holesone stroke further back, although a two-over 74 was nevertheless good enough for a place in the top 50 as just 22 players beat the par of 72.
That was an indicator of how great the 66 of Casey had been, the Englishman opening with a birdie before hitting out of his lone bogey of the round in the sixth with an strategy to coincide.
Casey picked up another shot at the long 11th prior to making back-to-back birdies at 13 and 14 and, even though he was unable to make the most of the long 15th, he atoned in the 16th and 18th in an odd closing stretch where three of their last four holes are still par-fives.
The Ryder Cup star will sleep on the lead ahead of Schwab, who continued to produce the kind that has made the back-to-back top-eight finishes at the Czech Republic and Switzerland a week, where he led a area.
Schwab’s card featured four birdies and an eagle in the 15th, while falling just 1 shot a day where just two players returned bogey-free rounds, although he was unable to create his four in the ninth — his last — as he settled for second place before Ben Stow, Bob MacIntyre along with Max Rottluff.
The target that was first was set by stow at four under despite starting his round at the 10th, the Englishman because he belied his standing of 274th to Dubai about the Hurry enjoying an impressive comeback with a double-bogey six.
Rising Scottish talent MacIntyre, runner-up double this season and sixth at The 148th Open, rolled in his sixth birdie putt of the afternoon in the ninth to finish his 68, while the highlight of Rottluff’s opener was a pitch in for an eagle-two at the seventh as he led the house challenge.
England’s Ben Evans birdied three of the final five holes to match the 69s of Alex Bjork and Lucas Herbert, however Schauffele, Reed and Kuchar have some ground to make up after all made starts.
Schauffele began using a six at the 10th but then made five birdies in seven holes across a blemish in the 16th since he attained two under in the turn, however the entire world No 9 — the highest-ranked participant in the area this week — blotted his card twice around the front nine and didn’t add to his own birdie tally because he signed for a 73.
Kuchar birdied the final to return a 74, while former Masters champion Reed suffered a torrid beginning when he triple-bogeyed the third and was five with three to play, however, he dug deep to birdie 16, 17 and 18 to salvage a 74 and give himself a few positive momentum to take into his early beginning on Friday.

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