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Langer leads in homeland

Aug. 29, 2002 at 5:32 PM

MUNICH, Germany, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- Bernhard Langer delighted the home fans Thursday when he opened with an 8-under par 64 to take a one-shot lead at the BMW International Open.

Langer has won every title in Germany except this one, but made great strides to complete the set with the ideal start at GolfClub Munchen Nord-Eichenreid.

The German, who celebrated his 45th birthday Tuesday, made seven consecutive birdies and narrowly missed tying the European Tour record of eight straight.

His birdie run began on the par-5 18th after starting at the 10th and continued until the seventh hole of the front nine. That run took him into a one-shot lead over the English trio of Richard Bland, Robert Coles and Ian Poulter.

"It would be nice to win this one, but lets not jump too far ahead," Langer said. "It is only the first day and there are a lot of guys just one or two shots behind me. But it is nice to be in this position."

Langer again had his friend and neighbour from Florida, American golf professional Russell Holden, caddying for him after his long-time caddie Peter Coleman broke his shoulder three weeks ago when he fell off a ladder picking fruit.

Coleman is expected to be out for at least six weeks, which could rule him out of The Ryder Cup next month.

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