Daniel Hillier has returned to form on day one of the Big Green Egg German Challenge with a 4-under round of 67 to be tied for fifth.
The 23-year-old Kiwi finished with seven birdies and three bogeys around the Wittelsbacher Golfclub, an hour north of Munich.
This Germany event is one of the Challenge Tour events ‘The Road to Mallorca’ which is a season-long competition spanning 26 tournaments in 16 countries, which culminates at T-Golf & Country Club on the Balearic island of Mallorca in the first week of November.
While Hillier started well, fellow Kiwi Josh Geary had a tougher day finishing round one tied at 100th place with a 3-over 74 that included two birdies and five bogeys.
German Matthias Schmid posted a career-low 8-under par round of 63 to secure a three-stroke lead after the first round.
The home favourite carded eight birdies in a bogey-free round to move two shots clear of compatriot Michael Hirmer, with two-time Challenge Tour winner Julien Brun and 2020 Road to Mallorca Champion Ondřej Lieser a shot further back.
— Challenge Tour (@Challenge_Tour) September 9, 2021
Day two will tee off with Hillier at 11.20 NZT Fri and Geary at 11.30 NZT Fri.
On the opening day of the BMW PGA Championship in England, Ryan Fox shot a 1-over 73 to be nine shots off the lead.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Christiaan Bezuidenhout fired a pair of 64s to lead the way at Wentworth Golf Club.
The popular Thai Aphibarnrat, found his form in spectacular style early in the day, making seven birdies in eight holes after the turn to get to eight under, and for a long time it looked like he would sit atop the leaderboard on his own after 18 holes.
But Bezuidenhout picked up five shots in four holes on the front nine and then finished with three birdies to join him at the summit and sit one ahead of 2013 Masters Tournament winner Adam Scott.
Another Major Champion in Justin Rose was then at five under as he looks to fight his way onto the Ryder Cup team, alongside fellow home favourite Laurie Canter and Japan’s Masahiro Kawamura.
Spanish great Miguel Ángel Jiménez is making his 30th appearance at this event at the age of 57 and he carded a 68 to sit in the group at four under.