Paul McGinley and Gary Orr lead after round 1 of the KLM Open in Netherlands

By: samjack

Ireland’s Paul McGinley and Scot Gary Orr took advantage of calm early conditions to share the first round lead at the KLM Open in the Netherlands.

Both fired six under par 64s to be one ahead of a group which includes defending champion Darren Clarke, McGinley’s fellow countrymen and Dubliner Peter Lawrie, Australian Matthew Millar and Spain’s Jorge Campillo.

McGinley, Captain of the Britain and Ireland side in next month’s Vivendi Trophy, has high hopes of getting back to some of his old form.

The 42 year old has fallen outside the top 200 in the World Rankings and is 130th on The Race to Dubai.

“The season’s been flat,” said McGinley, runner-up to Clarke on the same course 12 months ago. “I’ve not played well enough – no excuses.

“I think the reason I enjoy playing in Holland is because the courses suit me. You’ve got to work the ball, and your course management really comes into play.”

His day promised to be even better when he stood seven under and three clear after 12 holes, having already made five birdies and a 20 foot eagle putt.

But the 2005 Volvo Masters champion – that was his last victory – bogeyed the short eighth, his 17th, and Orr caught him by also playing the back nine in 30.

The Helensburgh golfer, now 42 as well, has to go back to 2000 for his last success and has not had things easy since then.

Orr lost his European Tour card five years ago, then suffered recurring back problems and had to fight for his future again at the start of last season.

Finishing joint second in The European Open in May brought him back to the fore and at 129th in the world he is now Scotland’s highest-ranked player.

“I’ve not played for about four weeks,” revealed Orr. “So it’s been quite a long lay-off, but I’d played a long stretch of tournaments leading up to that, so I probably needed a break. I didn’t touch a club for a couple of weeks, then worked on a few areas which I felt needed addressing, such as my posture and balance.

“I feel I’m getting back into the groove now, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Clarke grabbed seven birdies and felt he would have been out in front but for “a couple of stupid schoolboy errors”.

The first plugged in a bunker and the second led to him taking a penalty drop away from a bush.

Lawrie came back from an opening bogey for a matching 65, while double Masters Tournament champion Jose Maria Olazábal, suffering from more rheumatic pains, was two under with one to go, but double bogeyed the 418 yard ninth just like Colin Montgomerie did – and just like Welshman Bradley Dredge did after reaching six under.

Play was suspended for an hour late in the day because of a storm and on the resumption Scot Callum Macaulay came in with a 66 to be only two behind.

Robert-Jan Derksen gave the home fans something to cheer when he produced a hole-in-one at the par three 11th, finding the cup with his seven iron tee shot on the way to a level par 70.

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