Three-way lead at BMW International

European Tour

A hatrick of birdies on the first three holes saw England’s Daniel Gaunt grab a share of the BMW International Open first round lead in Munich on Thursday.

Starting on the back nine, Gaunt added two more birdies and a bogey on his way out and fired another three after the turn, including one on the final hole.

“When you get off to a good start like that, it kick starts your day. All I wanted to do was just keep progressing from there and chase down the leaders, really,” Gaunt told the European Tour website.

“To hole that putt on the last, and a great shot in to finish with a really good putt again was the icing on the cake today.”

The 36-year-old, a two-time Champions Tour winner, carded a 65 to tie Spain’s Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Denmark’s Lasse Jensen for the lead.

Jensen was the only one of the leaders to stay bogey-free in the first round, firing four birdies on the front nine and three on his way in.

“I’m very happy and pleased. I think it’s a great start for this event,’ the 30-year-old said.

“You’re always a bit excited when you come into this part of the season. There’s a few big events coming up, so hopefully my game is getting in shape and I can build on from this round.”

Cabrera-Bello shot nine birdies and two bogeys for his 65; to continue his excellent recent form.

The two time European Tour winner has finished fourth, 13th and second in his last three events, and previously had success at this same course.

“I’ve been playing good the last couple weeks and I’m feeling good with my game. Today the difference maybe was I think I putted very good, especially on the back nine,” he said.

“I’ve also played good on this course before. I think 2011 or 2012 (it was 2010), I finished third. I’ve had other decent performances here, as well.

“The setup and the atmosphere in this tournament is very, very special and it’s only Thursday, and it felt like a weekend almost with really big crowds out there. It’s nice, and it helps you get in the zone and it worked for me today.”

England’s Andrew Johnson holds fourth after he shot seven birdies and a bogey for a six-under 66.

Henrik Stenson, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, James Morrison and Tommy Fleetwood are tied for fifth on five-under.

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