Perthshire, Scotland – Brett Rumford and Knut Borsheim both carded 5-under 67s Thursday to share the lead after the first round of the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.
Rumford is a three-time winner on the European Tour with his last victory coming at the 2007 European Masters. Borsheim, meanwhile, is looking for his first tour title.
Francesco Molinari and Paul Lawrie are one stroke off the lead at minus-4. They were joined there at Thorbjorn Olesen, Mark Foster and Maarten Lafeber.
Nicolas Colsaerts, who is trying to earn the last automatic qualifying spot for the European Ryder Cup team, posted a 3-under 69 and is tied for eighth. Colsaerts needs a top-two finish to grab that last spot.
"It was exactly the day I wanted, being in control of what I was doing. I'm very pleased with how I handled myself," said Colsaerts, who mixed five birdies and two bogeys in his round of 69.
Defending champion Thomas Bjorn, who was recently named an assistant captain for the European Ryder Cup squad, played alongside Colsaerts and shot a 2- under 70. Bjorn is tied for 13th.
Borsheim and Rumford were paired for the first two rounds this week. Both players opened with birdies on the par-5 second on the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles.
Rumford made it two in a row as he also birdied the third. After Borsheim birdied the seventh, Rumford answered with a birdie on the eighth.
The Australian Rumford again made it two in a row as he birdied No. 9.
Borsheim converted a birdie effort on the par-3 10th to move to 3-under. He joined Rumford at minus-4 with a birdie on the 14th.
Rumford took the lead at 5-under with a birdie on the par-5 16th. He stumbled to a bogey at 17 to fall back into a share of the lead, but erased that error with a birdie at the last.
"The consistency tee to green was steady. I just had one loose swing on 17, which cost me my only bogey of the day, so it was just a steady day," said Rumford, who hasn't had a top-10 finish all season. "I guess I was just trying to be the best golfer I could be, and then twins came along, and now that's all changed and I'm trying to be the best father I can be.
"That's been really different the last couple of years. But I've got a great team behind me."
Borsheim also birdied the par-5 closing hole to join Rumford at minus-5.
"This season has been very new to me, all of the tournaments we are playing in and just the environment, you have to adapt I guess. I've taken some time off now and just practicing with my coach, and it's back to scratch," stated Borsheim, who has missed the cut in 10 of his 14 starts this season.
NOTES: European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal struggled to a 6-over 78. He will name his team on Monday after the top-10 players lock in when Sunday's action concludes...England's Lloyd Kennedy had a hole-in-one on the par-3 17th, which helped him post a 2-under 70.