Friday, August 22, 2008

ZANDVOORT, Netherlands (AP) — Rolf Muntz birdied three straight holes to start the back nine and shot a bogey-free 6-under-par 64 to take a one-stroke lead in the first round of the KLM Open on Thursday as golfers continued to position themselves for the European Ryder Cup team.

Muntz added a birdie on No. 16 to play the final nine in 4-under 30, avoiding heavy rain that affected the rounds of others.

Denmark's Soren Hansen, who hasn't finished better than a tie for 64th in any of his previous four events, overcame a double bogey 6 at No. 9 with four birdies on the back to shoot 65 and share second with John Bickerton.

Hansen is 10th on the European Ryder Cup points list, just ahead of Martin Kaymer, who shot 2 over 72.

Sweden's Alexander Noren was another stroke back at 66 while Justin Rose shot a bogey-free round despite experiencing the worst of the weather during his closing holes and was in a group of eight at 67.

Rose is eighth in the Ryder Cup points standings, needing to slip no further than 10th by the end of next week.

"I'm really pleased. I knew coming here that there would be a lot of attention on the Ryder Cup, but I just had to try to get into the mind-set of playing tournament golf," Rose said.

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