Thomas Detry birdies five of last six holes to claim Porsche European Open lead
Belgium's Thomas Detry produced an outstanding finish to snatch the first-round lead at the Porsche European Open, where defending champion Paul Casey struggled to a 73. Watch Sunday's second round live on Sky Sports Golf
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 05/06/21 8:39pm
Thomas Detry birdied his final four holes to storm into the lead after the first round of the Porsche European Open in Hamburg.
Detry's magnificent finish propelled him to a front-nine 29 and a round of 68, earning him a one-shot lead on a tough day for scoring in the 54-hole tournament at Green Eagle Golf Courses, where only 21 players finished the opening day under par.
While Detry was flying high, defending champion Paul Casey found the going more difficult and made only one birdie in a three-over 75, while fellow Ryder Cup stalwart Henrik Stenson struggled to a 77.
With spectators in attendance at a European Tour event in Europe for the first time since November 2019, it was talented Belgian Detry who rose to the occasion, although he left it late in his round to make his charge.
The 28-year-old was one over for the day with six holes remaining having found water at the third which led to his second six of the round, but his golf on the run-in was close to flawless as he made five birdies to close on four under par - a score which held up for the remainder of the day.
"The golf course is really tough this week, it's almost a US Open set up," said Detry, still chasing his maiden European Tour title. "I played my first nine holes really steady, didn't really make anything and made a little mistake at 16, but on my back nine I got it going.
"Two early birdies, a double on one of the easiest holes, then I had a nice bounce back with a tap-in birdie and had another four birdies.
"It's completely different, it's very major-like. I played the PGA two weeks ago and it's a similar approach, you have to drive it on the fairway otherwise it's really penalising.
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"In a way that's golf that suits me a bit more, I tend to struggle on easy courses where you're forced to make birdies otherwise you're losing ground and it's a completely different approach on this golf course.
"I'm very pleased with the way I've been playing. I hit 12 fairways today, some really good golf so I'm pleased with it and I'm looking forward to the next couple of days."
Detry holds a one-shot advantage over Ashun Wu, David Law, Alexander Bjork and Ashley Chesters, who also enjoyed a fast finish as he birdied the seventh and holed a 109-yard wedge for a spectacular eagle at the ninth to card the fourth 69 of the opening day.
Home favourite Martin Kaymer was going along nicely at two under until a brief suspension of play due to the threat of lightning, and the two-time major champion returned to make three consecutive bogeys and slip to one over par.
But he is in better shape than Casey, whose early birdie was wiped out by four dropped shots that leaves him facing a battle to make the cut along with the likes of Stenson, whose lone birdie of the day at the final hole was scant consolation on his six-bogey card.