Siem soars after eagles
MARCEL SIEM grabbed the initiative in the race for a place at the US Masters with a sensational first-round 64 at the Trophee Hassan II.
Siem (32), the winner of last summer's French Open, needs to land his third European Tour victory in Agadir on Easter Sunday to clinch an invitation to Augusta. The lanky and excitable German's eagle-birdie finish propelled him three clear of Spain's Alvaro Velasco at the top of the leaderboard.
That three at 17 was Siem's second eagle after he holed from the fairway for a two at the 433-yard third.
Defending champion Michael Hoey birdied 18 for a two-over-par 74, the same score he made in last year's first round before embarking on a sensational three-day scoring spree.
None of the Irish contingent managed to break par, Waterville's David Higgins going closest with a 73 in the late afternoon as the ocean winds, which had made life extremely difficult for the morning starters, dropped close to a whisper.
Dubliner Peter Lawrie ground out a creditable 75 in the circumstances. After turning in level par, Gareth Maybin played the front nine, his homeward half, in a calamitous seven-over. Damien McGrane, runner-up last year, posted his worst round score in nearly three years, a dispiriting 80.
Trophee Hassan II,
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