Photo Getty Images

Despite his tremendous success internationally, England’s Paul Casey has not won on the European Tour for nearly five years but playing in this week’s Porsche European Open he has taken a significant step to changing that.

Casey’s opening round of 66 in the event being played in Hamburg, has given the 42 year old a one shot lead over the in form Matthias Schwab on a cold breezy day in the north of Germany.

Casey played late in the day on day one and, after a relatively slow start, his closing nine of 5 under 33  gave him the lead although Schwab, who has been recorded top ten finishes in his last two events, had his chances to take a share of the lead over the closing nine holes.

Casey who finished 3rd at the recent Tour Championship in the US has focused much of his attention in the US in recent years but he is a prolific winner of titles in Europe, the last of those coming when winning the KLM Open in The Netherlands in 2014.

Casey, who finished 7th in this event last year, was delighted with the round and described it as one of his best this year.

“It was a really good round of golf,” said Casey. “There were a couple of putts that slipped by, but that is such a difficult golf course. I was happy with the patience I was showing and the quality of strike, considering I hadn’t played well in the Pro-Am.

“Now I stand here happier. The score doesn’t really do it justice – that’s one of the finest rounds of golf I’ve played this year.”

Australian, Lucas Herbert, picked up from where he left off in his final round of 66 in Switzerland last week to open with a round of 69 today and is tied for 6th and three from the lead.

Herbert is currently in 110th place in the Race to Dubai standings and needs to retain or better that position in order to hold on to his European Tour playing rights for next season.

He has, it would appear, found something in his game as, after a series of indifferent months of tournament play, he is putting together some good golf.

He leads the Australians, South Australian Adam Bland the next best after his round of 71 while Jake McLeod and tournament invite, Harrison Endycott, are 23rd after their rounds of even par 72.

Lucas Herbert