MUNICH (AP) — Retief Goosen of South Africa shot an 8-under 64 to lead by two after the first round of the rainy BMW International Open on Thursday.
John Daly, who is trying to get his game in shape for the British Open at Turnberry next month, struggled on the first leg of a three-tournament European swing. He finished with a 2-over 74 at the European Tour event.
The first round scoring was unusually low for the tournament because three days of heavy rain produced soft, receptive greens that allowed more than half the field to break par.
Goosen attributed his low score at the waterlogged Golfclub Munchen Eichenried to lessons he learned last week when finishing in 16th place in similar damp conditions at the U.S. Open.
He described playing his approach shots from the fairways as “exactly the same,” and after struggling on the greens at Bethpage Black, changed putters for the first time in eight years.
“I have been using the same putter since 2001,” Goosen said after his bogey-free round. “I had a new one made up for me three years ago but I only tried it out in the pro-am on Wednesday for the first time.
“From the first hole where I hit the ball into three feet and made the putt for a birdie, everything started to go in.”
Goosen needed a bit of luck on the 18th hole when a wayward shot was prevented from going into a lake by a TV tower. A free drop set up his final birdie.
England’s Richard Finch was in second after a 6-under 66, a good sign for the Englishman after a run of poor performances. Nine others shot 67.
Paul McGinley overcame more than just weather during his round of 4-under 68.
As the Irishman was playing his approach to the seventh green, a woman carrying the player’s handheld scoreboard slipped on a nearby bridge and broke her leg.
“She let out an awful scream,” McGinley said. “And the sight of her broken bone sticking out at an angle from her ankle was the most sickening sight I have seen on a golf course.”