Thomas Detry produced a 4-under 68 on Saturday to take a one-shot lead after day one of the COVID-delayed 2021 Porsche European Open.
Due to Germany’s authoritarian covid-19 rules, the European Tour was forced into a Saturday start and a reduced 54 hole event at the acclaimed Green Eagle Golf Courses.
Starting on the 10th, Detry played his first nine (10-18) to 1-over par 39. After turning, he mixed three birdies with a double to get back to even par through 13 holes. The 28-year old Belgian then reeled off four birdies on Nos. 6-9 to reach 4-under par 68.
“The golf course is really tough this week, it’s almost a U.S. Open set up,” said Detry.
“I played the front nine really steady, my first nine holes, didn’t really make anything and made a little mistake – a bogey – but on the 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. I played the US PGA two weeks ago and it’s a similar approach, you have to drive it on the fairway otherwise it’s really penalizing.
“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.”
A foursome comprised of Englishman Ashley Chesters, Scotsman David Law, Chinaman Wu Ashun, and Swede Alexander Bjork were T2 on 3 under.
Six more players were one further back on 2 under par, including home favorite Marcel Schneider.
2021 Porsche European Open
Top-5 Leaders: Round 1
Pos-Player-To Par (Rd 1)
1. Thomas Detry -4 (68)
2. Wu Ashun -3 (69)
3. Alexander Bjork -3 (69)
3. Ashley Chesters -3 (69)
5. David Law -3 (69)