tied for fourth at the 2008 PGA at Oakland Hills.
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Thursday, September 03, 2009

CRANS-SUR-SIERRE, Switzerland (AP) Australia's Brett Rumford birdied the last four holes for a 28 on the back nine Thursday, finishing with a 9-under 62 for the first-round lead at the European Masters.

Rumford, the 2007 champion, was a stroke ahead of Simon Dyson, the Dutch Open winner two weeks ago who had a 63. At 65 were Miguel Angel Jimenez, Andres Romero, Christian Nilsson, Thongchai Jaidee, Alexander Noren and Danny Willett.

Rumford is back on the European tour after a year in the United States and has missed the last two cuts. He made birdie putts of 20 feet twice and 15 feet twice on the last four holes.

``I got my putter running hot,'' he said. ``I don't know where this came from.''

Rumford was 11 under for the last 13 holes, including an eagle at the seventh from 15 feet and a 40-foot birdie at the 11th. On his opening hole, his drive struck a woman above the left eye.

``There was a lot of blood. It wasn't nice. I haven't spoken to her yet. They had taken her away and I didn't see her at all,'' Rumford said. ``Lucky it wasn't 2 inches to the left or on the temple or it could have been worse.''

Dyson shot eagle-3s on the first and 15th holes in a round that included three birdies and no bogeys. He said the Dutch Open victory was a big boost.

``It's such a mental game and when you get a win under your belt it does wonders for your state of mind,'' he said.

Rory McIlroy, who lost in a playoff last year, had a 67. Lee Westwood, chasing the European Order of Merit title, opened with a 71. Trevor Immelman, the 2008 Masters champion who is coming back from a wrist injury, shot a 74.

``I can't really expect much more and I can't be too hard on myself at this time,'' he said.

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