Cologne - Australia's Marcus Fraser fired an eight under par 64 to clinch a share of the lead after the first round of the BMW International on Thursday.
Fraser, a two-time European Tour winner, saw his round matched by Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti while Ireland's former Ryder Cup vice-captain Paul McGinley and English pair Danny Willett and Chris Wood were a shot off the pace.
“It's great. I played really well - drove the ball really straight, only missed one fairway,” said the 33-year-old Fraser, who hit five birdies in the last six holes.
“The greens were nice this morning and I managed to make a few putts and especially a few at the end, which was great.
“On 17 I just missed the left edge, so could have been six. But that's always the story; we're never happy. I played really well and gave myself a lot of chances so it was nice to roll a few in.”
Colin Montgomerie, back from television commentary work on the US Open in San Francisco, shot 69.
But local favourite Martin Kaymer struggled with jetlag.
“I only slept for two hours,” said Kaymer who carded a 71, the same as Sergio Garcia. - Sapa-AFP