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Dublin: 10°C Monday 19 April 2021
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Storm brewing nicely at French Open in Paris

Gareth Maybin is the best of the Irish after the first day of play at Le Golf National.

Image: Joe Giddens/EMPICS Sport

A BOGEY-FREE round of six-under par propelled Englishman Graeme Storm to the top of the leaderboard following the first day of play at this year’s Alstom French Open in Paris.

A birdie at the par four 17th saw the 33-year-old, seeking his first Tour victory since his maiden success on this course in 2007, move into a share of the lead with Australian Richard Greene whose dropped shot at the same hole was the only one of an almost faultless round.

The duo are one stroke clear of the chasing pack, with Thorbjorn Olesen, George Coetzee and James Morrison lying in wait on five-under par.

Gareth Maybin is the best of the Irish after an unspectacular round of one-under par while Paul McGinley needed a birdie on the 9th, the final hole of his day, to make it back to the clubhouse on level par.

Michael Hoey finished the day on one-over with Peter Lawrie two shots further back. Shane Lowry will be bitterly disappointed with his showing however, shooting eight bogeys en route to a closing score of seven-over par.

Meanwhile, Damien McGrane was one of four players disqualified for a “serious breach of the water hazard rules” after he was found to have taken a drop in the wrong area at the 18th hole.

After his opening round of 65, co-leader Storm told EuropeanTour.com that returning to the scene of his sole Tour victory was as much a burden as it was a bonus.

“There’s always added pressure when you come back because people say, ‘You won on one of the toughest courses in Europe and you obviously like it around that course.’

“I do, without a doubt, but you’ve still got to put the work in and do all the preparation.”

It’s just another week, it’s another tournament and you’ve got to treat it like that, but don’t get me wrong, it’s fantastic to always come back and know that you’ve won around here.

About the author:

Niall Kelly

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