Richard McEvoy tamed a “monster” course to keep his game in top gear by claiming a share of the lead on day one of the Porsche European Open.
McEvoy, pictured, who won his first event since 2004 in the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge in Aviemore at the start of the month, carded six birdies in an opening 66 on the 7,582 yard Green Eagle Golf Course in Hamburg.
That looked set to give the 38-year-old from Essex the outright lead until American Julian Suri birdied four of his last five holes to also finish six under, a shot ahead of defending champion Alex Levy, former Masters winner Charl Schwartzel, Stuart Manley and Chris Paisley.
“I’m very pleased,” McEvoy said. “At the start of the week (I thought) it’s not really my style of golf course to be honest.
“It’s wet out there and I’m not the longest of hitters, I’m quite average on tour, but I did everything kind of right today. When I got myself in trouble I got out of it well and I took advantage of the holes where I was hitting wedges in, so a very pleasing start.
“Obviously winning in Scotland was great for me, confidence-wise in particular it was fantastic. I hadn’t won for 13 years and nothing beats winning for confidence, so that was a nice thing to do.”
American Ryder Cup star Patrick Reed is part of a nine-strong group on four under par, which includes Stephen Gallacher and Craig Lee, as well as the English duo of Laurie Canter and Ashley Chesters.
Reigning US PGA champion Jimmy Walker could only manage a level-par 72.