Charl Schwartzel South African golfer one off Hamburg first-round golf lead

Suri carded five birdies on the back nine for a 66 to sit alongside England's McEvoy, who posted a bogey-free effort, on six under par.

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South Africa's Charl Schwartzel, pictured in June 2017, is just one stroke shy of the lead spot at the European Open in Hamburg, Germany play

South Africa's Charl Schwartzel, pictured in June 2017, is just one stroke shy of the lead spot at the European Open in Hamburg, Germany

(GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File)
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Charl Schwartzel impressed on the opening day of the European Open in Hamburg on Thursday, as American Julian Suri and Richard McEvoy took a share of the lead.

Suri carded five birdies on the back nine for a 66 to sit alongside England's McEvoy, who posted a bogey-free effort, on six under par.

South African Schwartzel is just a stroke further back on five-under, alongside defending champion Alexander Levy, Chris Paisley and Welshman Stuart Manley.

Schwartzel, the highest-ranked player in the field at world number 21, took full advantage of the par fives to sign for an excellent round of 67.

The former Masters winner eagled the 15th hole and birdied the 18th after starting on the back nine.

A closing birdie on the par-five ninth could have been far better, after his second shot with a fairway wood hit the flagstick before settling 25 feet from the cup.

"On 18 I hit a fantastic shot and then finishing off today on nine, I hit the flag again with two fairway woods and that doesn't happen very often but you know I played well this morning," he told europeantour.com.

American Ryder Cup star Patrick Reed, making a rare appearance on the European Tour, mixed five birdies with one bogey in a round of 68 to sit in a nine-strong group on four-under.

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