Larrazabal in first at Valderrama Masters

Oct. 28, 2010 at 3:21 PM

SOTOGRANDE, Spain, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- Pablo Larrazabal used a pair of late birdies Thursday to build a 2-stroke lead in the first round of the European Tour's Andalucia Valderrama Masters in Spain.

Larrazabal turned in a bogey-free 5-under-par 66 and owns the lead over Graeme McDowell and Damien McGrane, who are at 3-under 68. Shiv Kapur and Gareth Maybin are a stroke back at 2-under 69.

McDowell had the early lead but Larrazabal, who had birdies at Nos. 1 and 8 on the front side, caught McDowell with a birdie at the 10th hole.

Larrazabal had five consecutive pars before a chip-in for birdie at No. 16 moved him in front by himself. He birdied No. 17 to stretch the lead.

"I hit the ball as good as the last few months and putted well today," Larrazabal said. "For me, it is almost a record to shoot a bogey-free round at Valderrama and five-under is just great, I played really well."

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