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Green swings into lead at Loch Lomond

  • Story Highlights
  • Richard Green cards seven-under-par 64 to lead Scottish Open by one stroke
  • The Australian is ahead of a group of four players following the first round
  • They include home hope Martin Laird, Graeme Storm and Paul McGinley
  • Former world No. 3 Adam Scott is in sixth place after carding a 66
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(CNN) -- Richard Green rediscovered his swing to take a one-shot lead at the Scottish Open after firing a seven-under-par 64 in the opening round at Loch Lomond on Thursday.

Richard Green is seeking to win his first European Tour title since triumphing in Austria two years ago.

Richard Green is seeking to win his first European Tour title since triumphing in Austria two years ago.

The Australian was alarmed to lose his rhythm in the pre-tournament pro-am, but bounced back with an eagle and six birdies to head off a group of four players on 65 including Glasgow-born, U.S.-based golfer Martin Laird.

"It was a bit of a surprise -- I'd been playing well for three weeks and all of a sudden I couldn't find it. But I went on the range for probably an hour and an half and got things back on plane," said Green, who curled in a 35-foot putt at 13 for his eagle, having dropped a shot at the previous hole.

The left-hander made his breakthrough in 1997 when he beat Greg Norman and Ian Woosnam in a play-off in Dubai, but his only European Tour victory since then was in Austria two years ago -- also in a play-off.

"I haven't handled the pressure quite as well as I would have liked to," the 38-year-old said. "But the more I put myself there, the more and more I feel like I can do it."

Laird, playing his first professional tournament not only in his homeland but also in Europe, was level with veteran Irishman Paul McGinley, England's Graeme Storm and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano of Spain.

Watched by friends and family, he chipped in twice during a flawless round featuring birdies at his last two holes after starting on the ninth tee.

"I was a little more nervous than usual, so it's obviously a dream start for me," the 26-year-old said.

Storm, starting in the first group off at 7.30 a.m., birdied the first two holes and had a hat-trick from the 15th as his recent new training regime appeared to pay dividends.

"I enjoy doing it, although I got a new program on Tuesday and it nearly killed me in the gym," the 31-year-old former British amateur champion said.

Former world No. 3 Adam Scott, now down at 43rd in the rankings, carded a morale-boosting 66 to have sole ownership of sixth place ahead of a group of 10 players on 67.

Prior to last month's U.S. Open, the Australian had missed seven out of eight cuts.

England's Lee Westwood, who is struggling with a chest infection ahead of next week's British Open at Turnberry and lost in a play-off at the French Open last weekend, battled to a 73.

His playing partners Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter, both bedecked in tartan trousers, shot 68 and 69 respectively.

Poulter's score was matched by former world No. 1 Ernie Els, Irishman Darren Clarke and Masters champion Angel Cabrera, while defending champion Graeme McDowell carded 70.

Former European Ryder Cup captain Nick Faldo shot a 71 in his first start this year.

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