Storm leads KLM Open by two after shattering tournament scoring mark

Graeme Storm
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Graeme Storm's 63 on Thursday was three shots better than his previous-best score at the KLM Open.
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PGA.com news services

Series: European Tour

HILVERSUM, Netherlands -- Graeme Storm of England shot a course-record 7-under 63 Thursday to lead the KLM Open by two shots after the opening round.

Storm birdied three of his closing four holes on the Hilversumsche Golf Club course. His effort was three shots fewer than his previous best score in the premier Dutch event on the European Tour.

''I made the birdies when I gave myself the chances, and I managed to get up and down when I missed the greens,'' he said.

Storm teed up in the Netherlands ranked 114th on the European Tour money list. He wants to end the season inside the top 115 to retain full membership for next season.

Martin Kaymer, Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin and Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti also surpassed the previous course record with their 5-under 65s to tie for second place.

Kaymer handed playing partner and Europe Ryder Cup Captain Jose Maria Olazabal a reminder of his capabilities before heading to the Ryder Cup in a few weeks. Kaymer, who won the KLM Open two years ago, capped his round with an eagle at the 12th where he holed a 20-foot putt. His front nine contained three birdies before a chaotic back nine balanced two birdies, two bogeys and that eagle.

Kaymer’s European teammate Peter Hanson of Sweden produced a 66 in a round that included five birdies and a solitary bogey at the sixth.

The third member of Jose Maria Olazabal's team in action, Belgian wild-card pick Nicolas Colsaerts, was level par, while Olazabal's eventful 1-over-par 71 contained one of the highlights of the day when he chipped in from a bunker for one of his five birdies.

Storm made a steady start and was 1 under through six holes before back-to-back birdies at the next two holes sparked his round into life. He gained another pair of shots at Nos. 11 and 12 to join the leaders before his strong finish took him clear of the pack at 7 under.

Zanotti's round was also bogey-free, starting with two birdies and finishing with another, while Jacquelin began with a bogey at the ninth before going eagle-birdie at 12 and 13, picking up further shots at Nos. 1-3 and finishing off with a birdie at No. 8.

England's Danny Willett was one of three British challengers alongside Hanson on 4 under while Paul Casey and Oliver Fisher feature in a large group at 3 under.

Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano birdied the last to join that group while Michael Campbell, the 2005 U.S. Open champion from New Zealand, was 2 under along with Swede Henrik Stenson.