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Scotland's Stephen Gallacher and South African Richard Sterne were setting a fast pace at the start of the BMW International Open in Cologne.
Gallacher had six birdies in the space of nine holes, while Sterne covered the outward half in a five-under-par 31 to be only one behind.
The disappointment for the home crowd was that Martin Kaymer's only birdie on the back nine came at the 519-yard 13th, his fourth, and he started for home in a group on one under which also included fellow major winners John Daly and Rich Beem.
Indian Shiv Kapur was in third place at four under after 12, while Colin Montgomerie - back from his television work at the US Open last week - and fellow Scot Paul Lawrie, third in the Ryder Cup race, stood two under.
Montgomerie is a former winner on the Gut Larchenhof course, but that was back in 1998.
Gallacher added a seventh birdie on the 436-yard fifth - his 14th - but three in a row from the 12th brought Kapur on to his heels and both German Marcel Siem and France's Gregory Havret were only two back.
Kaymer remained just one under with five to play, fluffing a chip at the long third and having to settle for another par there, while Lawrie double-bogeyed the 357-yard first and returned to level par.
Gallacher had to be content with a five-under 67 and it was Kapur who set the early clubhouse target.
He reached seven under before bogeying the last and that dropped him alongside South African Keith Horne and Australian Marcus Fraser as they came towards the end of their rounds.
Daly advanced to four under but Kaymer, having chipped close on the par-five sixth for birdie, found the water with his approach to the eighth and with a bogey was one under again.
He parred the last for a 71, while defending champion Pablo Larrazabal started with a 69.