Graeme Storm put a lean and emotionally testing spell behind him to take the first-round lead in the KLM Open on Thursday, while Ryder Cup star Martin Kaymer made a timely return to form.
A fine 63 enabled the tall Englishman to reach seven-under, which put him two shots clear of Kaymer, who ended the day level with Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay and Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin.
Kaymer’s European teammate Peter Hanson of Sweden was one of six players tied for fifth on four-under, while Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts — one of Jose Maria Olazabal’s Ryder Cup picks — birdied the last to go round in 70.
In addition to struggling for form, Storm has been forced to cope with tragedy away from the course, with his grandfather passing away prior to June’s BMW International Open.
“I’ve had a tough run and it’s all been a bit of a struggle. I’ve just not been enjoying it,” Storm said.
“I lost my grandfather on the Wednesday morning of Germany and since then I have really struggled. I kind of kept it to myself what happened, but it hit me really hard,” he said. “I played the best I have probably played all year. I’m just happy to get a round like that under my belt after recent months.”