KLM Open: Sergio Garcia two shots back as Callum Shinkwin leads
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 12/09/19 8:01pm
Sergio Garcia made a bogey-free start to the KLM Open to get within two shots of the early lead in Amsterdam.
The former Masters champion posted four birdies in a blemish-free 68 at The International to sit in the group on four under and two strokes back from first-round leader Callum Shinkwin.
Garcia, looking to join the likes of Seve Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal as Spanish winners of the event, started on the back nine opened with successive birdies on his way to reaching the turn in 34.
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The 15-time European Tour winner holed a 30-footer at the par-four first and rolled in a 15-footer at the eighth to close the gap on Shinkwin, who birdied two of his final three holes to post a six-under 66 and top the leaderboard.
"Conditions got a little bit trickier over the last six or seven holes, so I was quite happy with that," Garcia said. "I'll keep working hard like I've been doing and hopefully I'll have a chance this weekend."
Shinkwin, 126th in the Race to Dubai, reached the turn in 32 courtesy of an eagle, three birdies and one dropped shot before posting two more birdies on a blemish-free back nine to grab top spot.
English trio Chris Paisley, Sam Horsfield and Matthew Southgate sit a shot off the pace on five under alongside Scotland's Marc Warren, Denmark's Nicolai Hojgaard and Malaysia's Gavin Green, with one-time leader James Morrison in the group two off the pace with Garcia.
Defending champion Wu Ashun is on three under alongside home favourite Joost Luiten, who recovered from being three-over-par at the turn to get within three of the lead, while Patrick Reed posted a level-par 72.
Watch the KLM Open throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues on Friday from 10.30am via the red button on Sky Sports Golf.