Wales's Bradley Dredge and the Scot Peter Whiteford took the first-day honours at the BMW International Open in Munich with eight-under-par rounds of 64 yesterday.
But if that was dream stuff then the nightmare belonged to Sergio Garcia, who lies second-last after slumping to a five-over 77. Only the little-known German professional Christopher Trunzer, not a European Tour member, is below him.
Garcia, who had two double-bogeys in his last three holes, suffered the most of the players back from the US Open and battling jet lag. Ernie Els, who came third at Pebble Beach, bogeyed the last two holes for a 70, while world No 8 Paul Casey returned a 68.
Dredge set the early target after turning in 33, making an eagle on the long 11th and then finishing with three birdies in a row. The 36-year-old, whose last European Tour win came four years ago, said: "There was virtually no wind and the course was probably the easiest I've ever played it. It's a matter of consistency at the moment – when I play well I play very well, but on an off-day it's a mid-70 round, which isn't going to to do you any good."
Meanwhile, it was confirmed yesterday that Seve Ballesteros will not be at St Andrews for the Open next month after all. Ballesteros, whose life was saved by surgery after the discovery of a brain tumour 20 months ago, was hoping to play in the eve-of-championship four-hole Champions Challenge. However, the 53-year-old has accepted medical advice not to subject himself to emotional stress.