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KLM Open 2016: Thursday Leaderboard Scores and Highlights

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistSeptember 8, 2016

SPIJK, NETHERLANDS - SEPTEMBER 08:  Richard Green of Australia hits his tee shot on the 17th during the first round on day one of the KLM Open at The Dutch on September 8, 2016 in Spijk, Netherlands.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Ben Evans leads the field after the first day of the 2016 KLM Open at The Dutch in Spijk, the Netherlands, shooting a round of six-under 65 on Thursday to surge ahead of the pack. 

A host of players sit one shot back, including Bernd Wiesberger and Joakim Lagergren, while several top contenders such as Tommy Fleetwood carded an opening round of four under.

Here's a look at the current leaderboard:

KLM Open Leaderboard
PosPlayerTo ParRound 1 Score
1Ben Evans-665
T2Mikko Korhonen-566
T2Bernd Wiesberger-566
T2Byeong Hun An-566
T2Peter Hanson-566
T2Joakim Lagergren-566
T2Chris Hanson-566
T2Nino Bertasio-566
T2Rowin Caron (AM)-566
T10David Horsey-467
Europeantour.com

For the full leaderboard, visit the European Tour's official website.

    

Recap

SPIJK, NETHERLANDS - SEPTEMBER 08:  Peter Lawrie of Ireland hits his tee shot on the 17th during the first round on day one of the KLM Open at The Dutch on September 8, 2016 in Spijk, Netherlands.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Evans once again seems primed to finish the season in strong form and secure his spot on the tour.

The Englishman only dropped a single shot, on the 17th, and that bogey came at the end of a run of four straight birdies. Evans tackled the back nine hard, hitting five of his seven birdies. He was nearly perfect on his scrambles (5-of-6) and converted his lone sand save.

He took the early lead over a handful of players, including Peter Hanson, one of many to finish with a score of five under. Hanson eagled the sixth to put himself in a prime position for a run at the leaderboard, but two bogeys on the back nine brought his score down.

Namesake Chris Hanson also finished five under, a score he was delighted with:

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Chris Hanson @Hansonprogolf

Very pleasing day out there in the @KLMOpen - posting 66 (-5) always makes it more fun tho! #Holland 🇳🇱

Wiesberger played solid, safe golf to finish five under on Thursday and put himself in excellent position heading into Round 2. The Austrian's short game saved the day, as he had some trouble finding the green in regulation.

Plenty of top players put on a clinic in the approach game. Former winner and local favourite Joost Luiten pulled off this shot, via the European Tour on Twitter:

The European Tour @EuropeanTour

The 2013 winner at his best. ⬇️ #KLMOpen https://t.co/9wdLGDKzDs https://t.co/7uQI3eRsFm

Luiten was flawless on Thursday but only finished with a score of two under, remaining in the race for the title.

Belgium Nicolas Colsaerts could do no better than par, but he did steal the show with a fantastic approach shot as well:

The European Tour @EuropeanTour

The Dude. #KLMOpen https://t.co/rVTdaUBB8t

The first day of the 2016 KLM Open saw a new concept introduced by the European Tour, one that has a chance to increase in popularity quickly. A massive stand was added to the 14th hole, and fans got to take on the professionals during tournament play in a contest to get the ball closest to the pin.

With prizes on offer, plenty of amateurs tried their luck. Here's what that looked like:

The European Tour @EuropeanTour

Next up in the Beat the Pro challenge.... 13 year old Benjamin Reuter. ⬇️ #KLMOpen https://t.co/OfpxaIJHTc

Per the European Tour's official website, four-time European Tour winner Raphael Jacquelin loved it:

I think it’s a great idea and something we should be trying to do more of in golf.

Golf is unique because it is the only sport where professionals and amateurs can compete at the same time. We do it in a pro-am or with friends and family every other week, but this will add a little bit extra to that idea. I am looking forward to seeing how it works.

Everyone knows about the famous 16th in Arizona where they have the stadium par three and that is an amazing hole. But this is a little different to that because we are letting someone from the crowd join us so it could be even better.

The fans will get another chance to measure their skills against the professionals on Saturday.

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