Winning start for host Lawrie, Molinari outlasts Karlsson

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It took until the 20th hole, but the host won his opening tie at the European Tour's Paul Lawrie Match Play on Thursday, the Scot beating Peter Hanson at Golf Resort Bad Griesbach.

It is the third year the event has been held and the first time it has been staged outside Lawrie's native Scotland.

Lawrie was pushed all the way by 2012 Ryder Cup team-mate Hanson of Sweden, the 1999 Open champion ultimately extending a streak of first-round victories at the tournament bearing his name to three.

All of the Germans in the field in Bavaria delivered on home soil, with Florian Fritsch downing Oliver Fisher 1up and Maximilian Kieffer a comprehensive 4 and 3 winner over Magnus Carlsson.  

Alexander Knappe defeated Lasse Jensen 2 and 1, while Marcel Siem saw off Julien Quesne by the same score. 

Two of the early matches on Thursday also went to extra holes, Chris Paisley overcoming Scott Jamieson on the 22nd and Robert Rock seeing off Marc Warren on the 20th.

But it was Italy's Edoardo Molinari who won the longest match of the day, eventually defeating fellow former European Ryder Cup player Robert Karlsson of Sweden, the 2015 runner-up in this event, after 24 holes. 

Anthony Wall was a memorable champion in this competition 12 months ago, ending a 16-year wait for a second European Tour title, and he made a winning start to his title defence, birdying the 18th to beat fellow Englishman Sam Walker 1up.