Bjerregaard leads in Paris, McIlroy five back


Lucas Bjerregaard is in pole position to claim a spot at The Open after ending round one of the 100th Open de France at the top of the leaderboard, while Rory McIlroy sits five shots back.

World number 137 Bjerregaard got off to a great start with a hole-in-one on the par-three second, sinking from 202 yards.

A second bogey of the round on 16 could not take the shine of an impressive opening round that included a further five birdies.

Bjerregaard felt the early ace provided him with the momentum to take charge of the competition with a round of 66.

"It's a great start and I think that's what I've been needing these past few weeks," said the Dane.

"I've been playing decent and seeing a lot of improvements. I got momentum off that hole-in-one and it was nice to back it up on the holes after."

Defending champion Bernd Wiesberger is one of a quartet of players sitting a shot off the lead.

A bogey on the eighth cost the Austrian joint-leadership, leaving him level with Thomas Pieters, Thongchai Jaidee and Adrian Otaegui, who returned with a flawless scorecard.

World number 1051 Mathieu Decottignies-Lafon suffered a bitter blow by finishing on a double-bogey to drop two shots behind Bjerregard, Masters champion Danny Willett producing the same score on the 18th as he posted a four-over 75.

After missing the cut at the U.S. Open McIlroy delivered an inconsistent opening round, shooting four bogies and the same amount of birdies for a par finish and tie for 29th.

Gregory Bourdy narrowly missed out on one of the shots of the day when his chip from the fringe stopped centimetres short of the hole - the Frenchman, followed by a swarm of bees on the fairway, using his wedge to finish it off.