Larrazabal Out Front Early at French Open


European TourPARIS -- Spanish qualifier Pablo Larrazabal left his driver in the clubhouse and shot a 6-under 65 Thursday to take a one-shot lead after the first round of the French Open.
Thats my first tournament I play without a driver, Larrazabal said. The fairways are really hard, so you dont need the driver. Maybe if the wind starts to blow really hard, then you need the driver.
One shot back were English teenager Oliver Fisher, who birdied three of his final seven holes in a bogey-free 66, and Irelands Peter Lawrie, who recovered from an opening double bogey with 10 birdies'but finished with bogeys on Nos. 16 and 18.
Angel Cabrera of Argentina was alone in fourth after a 67.
Without a driver, Larrazabal relied on a 3-wood off the tee.
I have been hitting my 3-wood so well, Larrazabal said. The only fairway I missed out there was on the ninth.
Starting on the back nine, Larrazabal was bogey free with seven birdies until he reached the ninth. He concluded his day with a bogey to slip to 6 under.
I thought I had hit a perfect 3-wood but it was a foot into the big stuff, and I had to chip it out and then hit a 6-iron for my third shot, Larrazabal said. My fourth shot was the worst of the day and I had to chip and putt for bogey.
Larrazabal had to play two qualifying rounds two weeks ago at the Chantilly golf club to make the field.
Lawrie recovered from a double bogey on the first hole with five birdies in the next six holes.
He added four consecutive birdies starting at 12 to take the lead at 7 under. But his closing bogeys dropped him back.
Fisher finished at 5 under a month ago at the BMW PGA Championship to finish tied for 16th. It was the 19-year-olds best showing in six events this season.
I think Im probably more patient this year than I was last year, he said. You just try to do the best you can, go through the right processes and right routines beforehand and hit the best shots you can.
Fisher shared the lead after 15 holes with Angel Cabrera of Argentina at 4 under.
He birdied 17, and Cabrera matched with a birdie at No. 8 to stay tied. Cabrera bogeyed 9, and when Fisher saved par on the 18th, he went into the clubhouse with the lead.
A group of 12 players, including defending champion Graeme Storm of England, were three strokes off the pace at the $6.3 million tournament.
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