GRAEME STORM FINISHED well at the KLM Open in the Netherlands on Thursday to take a two-shot lead after the first day’s play.
The 34-year-old Englishman hit a superb seven-under 63, giving him a handy advantage on Martin Kaymer, Raphael Jacquelin and Paraguayan Fabrizio Zanotti who are all tied for second at five under.
Storm’s magnificent round was blemish-free, with the Hartlepool man firing four of his seven birdies from the final eight holes of the day.
Zanotti also avoided a bogey, shooting five birdies in his 65 while Jacquelin and Kaymer – who won the event in 2010 – were more erratic.
Jacquelin started the day with three successive birdies and finished with five, one eagle and two bogeys while the German scored exactly the same in his 18 holes.
A six-way tie for fifth sees Danny Willett and Steve Webster, Felipe Aguilar, Scotsman Craig Lee, Peter Hanson and Alejandro Canizares all locked at four-under after they shot rounds of 66.
Englishman Paul Casey is in a position to strike at three under, in a tie for 11th, but his compatriot Simon Dyson did not fare so well.
The Yorkshireman – who has won the title three times in the past – is tied for 49th after shooting an even-par 70.
An eagle on the 18th helped Dyson finish his round on a good note but he is already seven shots adrift of Storm with three days play remaining in Hilversum.