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Resurgent Matteo Manassero shares lead at KLM Open

Matteo Manassero, who endured a torrid time at the US Open last week, recovered to claim a share of the lead in the first round of the KLM Open on Thursday.

Manassero came through a 36-hole qualifier to take his place in the field at Pinehurst last week, his first US Open since 2016 and a first major appearance since that year's Open Championship.

And although it proved an unhappy return to the game's biggest events for the 31-year-old Italian, he bounced straight back with an opening 64 at The International in Amsterdam to share top spot with Finland's Mikko Korhonen.

"On the weekend I was tired even though I didn't play," said Manassero, who carded a triple-bogey eight on his opening hole at Pinehurst and went on to miss the cut following rounds of 79 and 75.

"It's stressful in a good way because you put a lot of energy in to prepare for a US Open and then it beats you up and then you kind of have a drop in adrenaline.

"I was a little tired, but I'm really happy to be playing and glad I that I have tournaments coming up to be honest. The US Open was a really tough experience, but you need to take it for what it is and reset."

Manassero certainly did that on Thursday as he carded seven birdies and no bogeys in pursuit of a sixth DP World Tour title, his fifth coming in March after a gap of almost 11 years.

"It was very, very satisfying," Manassero said. "It's a tough course so you need to earn a round like this round here and it was nice.

"It was a goal to win again, but not necessarily a short-term goal. I wanted to do well, be myself on Tour again after going through different changes.

"My goal was that and then I was going to see what results come and I've been really satisfied with those."

Korhonen made a hole-in-one on the fourth — his 13th hole of the day — and also recorded six birdies, the last two coming on the eighth and ninth, to join Manassero at the top of the leaderboard.

Rikuya Hoshino was a shot off the lead on six under in just his second event back following an 11-week lay-off.

Hoshino had to withdraw from the ISPS Handa Championship in his native Japan in April after being diagnosed with a collapsed lung and was ordered to undertake a month of complete rest by his doctors.

The Qatar Masters winner returned to action at the US Open, where he struggled to rounds of 78 and 81, but fired nine birdies and three bogeys in his opening 65.

Welshman Jamie Donaldson, a Ryder Cup winner in 2014, carded a one-over-par 72 on his 500th DP World Tour start, one shot better than defending champion Pablo Larrazabal.

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