Ryder Cup course makes life difficult for some as Anders Hansen takes one-shot lead
Dane leads Alstom Open de France as Ryder Cup fans got a glimpse of the drama which lies in store in five years’ time.
Graeme McDowell plays into the 12th green at the Alstom Open de France at Le Golf National. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Denmark’s Anders Hansen claimed a narrow lead after the first round of the Alstom Open de France as Ryder Cup fans got a glimpse of the drama which lies in store in five years’ time.
Le Golf National will host the biennial contest between Europe and the US in 2018 and its daunting closing stretch saw two of last year’s heroes from the “Miracle at Medinah” – and several other players – posting some unusually high numbers.
Luke Donald started with a birdie on the 10th, his opening hole, and was still one under par when he reached the 18th tee, only to run up a triple-bogey seven on the 470-yard par four after finding a fairway bunker off the tee and then dumping his third shot into the water surrounding the green.
The former world number one fared better on the front nine with birdies at the eighth and ninth completing a level-par 71, but playing partner Ian Poulter could only get back to two over after an outward half of 40.
Defending champion Marcel Siem covered the same stretch in 44 after an eight on the 13th and an eight on the 18th, the German covering the front nine in 10 fewer shots but still signing for a 78. Matteo Manassero had also taken eight on the 18th as he matched Poulter’s 73, while former champion Thomas Levet took a quintuple-bogey nine on the 13th in a round of 76. Hansen made a mockery of those scores by covering the back nine in 31 on his way to a five-under-par 66 that left him one shot ahead of France’s Romain Wattel. Graeme McDowell was a stroke further back after a 69 while Matt Kuchar returned a 70.