Storm shines at St Andrews

Storm shines at St Andrews

It was Graeme Storm rather than Graeme McDowell who shone as the Barclays Scottish Open began in windy conditions at Loch Lomond today.

McDowell was making his first appearance since capturing the US Open title three weeks ago and was one-under after 10 holes, but he then bogeyed at three of the next five.

Storm, who started with a 65 last year, scored one worse than that, but it was good enough to join Italian Edoardo Molinari as the early leader.

They were one ahead of Scot Stephen Gallacher in the £3m (€3.6m) event, while Storm's fellow Englishman David Horsey, winner of the BMW International Open two weeks ago, was in the group two behind following a 68.

McDowell had said on the eve of the event that he will never get sick of being introduced as the US Open champion, but it did not happen this morning.

The official starter opted merely for: "On the tee, from Northern Ireland, Graeme McDowell."

The 30-year-old did, however, walk off the tee arm-in-arm with one of his playing partners.

Miguel Angel Jimenez won the French Open on Sunday, so they had plenty to celebrate and chat about between them.

McDowell had warned people not to expect great things from him this week and the dropped shots on the second, fifth and sixth after he had turned in 35 suggested some mental tiredness.

Molinari is the older brother of Francesco, who lost a play-off to Jimenez in Paris at the weekend, and they are both battling for a Ryder Cup debut at Celtic Manor in October.

Francesco stands eighth, while Edoardo, who had a runners-up finish in the States in March, is 11th on the world points list from which the first four in Colin Montgomerie's side will come.

Masters champion Phil Mickelson, who can replace Tiger Woods as world number one with a top-two finish on Sunday, was among the later starters.

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