Marcel Siem of Germany holed two eagles to shoot an 8-under-par 64 Thursday and lead by three strokes after the opening round of the Euorpean Tour’s Hassan II Trophy.
The French Open champion also made five birdies on the Golf du Palais Royal course, finishing eagle, birdie on the last two holes in better afternoon conditions following a windy morning.
The 72nd-ranked Siem needs to enter the world’s top 50 by Sunday to earn his first invitation to the Masters from April 11-14.
Alvaro Velasco of Spain is second after making four birdies on the back nine for a 67.
English trio David Horsey, Graeme Storm and Simon Wakefield each shot 68.
”It was one of those days when you go out there on a really tough golf course and the wind is blowing 20-30 mph and you really don’t expect to finish on 4 under,” Wakefield said.
Horsey, the 2011 champion, and Wakefield had six birdies each. Storm holed an eagle on No. 17 before bogeying the last hole.
”Obviously, I had the win here two years ago, and I do feed off a lot of those good feelings from that,” Horsey said. ”It is a great golf course that is different to what we usually play with a lot of run-offs and raised greens.”
Defending champion Michael Hoey of Northern had a 74, including a double-bogey on No. 7.