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Wakefield, Gee, Kim lead in France after first round

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SAINT-OMER, France – Adam Gee of England shot a 4-under 67 Thursday to share the lead with Simon Wakefield of England and Sihwan Kim of South Korea in the opening round of the Saint-Omer Open.

Darren Fichardt of South Africa had a 68, tied with Raymond Russell of Scotland and Raul Quiros of Spain.

Americans Scott Pinckney and Berry Henson shot 69s.

Gee climbed atop the leaderboard by holing seven birdies to make up for three bogeys. He missed the cut last week at the Nordea Masters in Sweden.

It's a good start,'' Gee said. ''I had some good fortune today – I hit the flag on the 17th and it went in, and on the 18th I hit a good shot from a bad lie and it ran up nicely to the hole.''

He tied for 15th place at the Saint-Omer Open three years ago. His best result on the European Tour was fourth place at the Russian Open in 2007.

Kim, who is playing his first season in Europe, also enjoyed a bit of luck.

''I missed in the right places,'' Kim said. ''I wouldn't say I was hitting the ball terribly, but I certainly wasn't striping it. I got some lucky bounces here and there.''

Kim finished 11th at the Madeira Islands Open last month in Portugal.