Stadler ahead in France with 64

Kevin Stadler posted a bogey-free 7-under-par 64 to take a one-stroke lead over Marcel Siem of Germany after the first round of the Alstom Open de France at Le Golf National in Versailles, France.

Stadler, the son of 1982 Masters champion Craig Stadler who spent his early years in San Diego but moved to Colorado with his family before returning to attend USC, made the most of his first trip to France by taking the lead with three birdies on the first four holes of the back nine.

“It’s one of my best rounds of the year for sure,” said Stadler, claimed his first PGA Tour title at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February. “To not make a bogey out there is something I didn’t think was possible when I first played (the course). It’s instantly one of my favorite courses ever. I thought it was spectacular from hole 1 to the end. They talk about the last four holes, but they are doing a discredit to the previous 14.

“I have always wanted to come over here, the guys in the U.S. tell me it’s one of the best events of the year and it has not let me down. It has been fantastic.”

Stephen Gallacher of Scotland was third after a 66, while defending champion Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland was tied for 15th at 70 and U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer of Germany tied for 43rd at 72.

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