Andy Sullivan of England shot a six-under 66 for a four-way tie of the early clubhouse lead on Thursday while local favorite Martin Kaymer endured a frustrating round on the opening day of the BMW International Open.
Sullivan finished the Gut Laerchenhof course with his fifth birdie and made up for a bogey on the seventh with an eagle on the 13th. He joins compatriot Graham Storm, Denmark's Anders Hansen and Frenchman Gary Stahl among the best of the early finishers.
Kaymer, making his first competitive appearance since winning the U.S. Open, made five birdies but was let down by two bogeys and a double bogey for a one-under 71.
Irish Open winner Mikko Ilonen finished four-under par while playing partner and 11-time European Tour winner Sergio Garcia was one-under.