Thursday, the countrymen each carded a pair of 6-under-par 66s to share the first-round lead at the Linde German Masters with Ireland's Padraig Harrington and Sweden's Patrik Sjoland.
The last time Sjoland held at least a share of the 18-hole lead, he won the event. That took place mid-way through the season at the Murphy's Irish Open. Now, the Swede looks for a repeat of that accomplishment in Cologne, Germany.
'After winning in Ireland I just haven't been getting good starts and it's always been a case of catching up,' Sjoland said.
'I'm lying 22nd on the rankings at the moment, and my target is top 15 so I can be sure of places in next year's U.S. Open and British Open, and there is very big money here this week,'
While Sjoland vies for win No. 2 in 2000, so too does Harrington. The Irishman captured the Brazil Sao Paulo 500 Years Open in April - his second-career Tour title.
Last week, Harrington was in position for a third European triumph. He led through three rounds of the Belgacom Open, but was passed by a surging Lee Westwood on Sunday.
While four players share first place, six more are just one-shot back. Germany's own Bernhard Langer is tied with Englishmen Roger Winchester and David Carter; Scotsmen Colin Montgomerie and Gary Orr; and Italian Emanuele Canonica.
Langer is in search of his fourth-career German Masters title, but more importantly, the 43-year-old German is seeking a return trip to the 2001 Ryder Cup. Over $400,000 and 450,000 Ryder Cup points are on offer for first place at the Gut Larchenhof Golf Club.
'I won't be playing 25 to 30 qualifying tournaments, so when I play, I have to play well,' said Langer, whose last European victory came at the 1997 Linde German Masters.
Montgomerie is a guaranteed lock to play at The Belfry in 2001. But what is in doubt for the 1998 German Masters champion is an eighth-straight Order of Merit title in 2000. Monty currently resides in 5th place in earnings, over $730,000 behind leader Lee Westwood.
Westwood is in a 16-way tie for 32nd place after opening in 2-under-par 70. In all, 62 of the 108 players in the field are within five shots of the first-round lead. Defending champion Sergio Garcia is six off the lead after shooting an even-par 72.