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Hansen turns back the clock in Cologne

  • Story Highlights
  • Danish golfer Soren Hansen leads Mercedes-Benz Championship by one shot
  • Hansen matches the seven-under 65 that he shot in opening round in 2007 win
  • Young British star Chris Wood also cards flawless round to be second on 66
  • Event host Bernhard Langer makes 71 despite two consecutive double-bogeys
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(CNN) -- Soren Hansen made the perfect start to his bid to regain the Mercedes-Benz Championship title with a seven-under-par 65 in the opening round in Germany on Thursday.

Soren Hansen claimed an early one-shot lead as he bids to repeat his 2007 triumph in Cologne.

Soren Hansen claimed an early one-shot lead as he bids to repeat his 2007 triumph in Cologne.

The Danish golfer fired five birdies and sank a 12-foot eagle putt at the 509-yard 13th hole on the same Gut Larchenhof course in Cologne where he triumphed two years ago.

The 35-year-old led by one shot from young British star Chris Wood after matching his opening-round score from 2007.

"It seemed silly easy. I played tremendously when I won here and I've always liked this place. I just kept giving myself chances," Hansen told the European Tour's official Web site.

"I drove the ball lovely and had the speed right, which is why I holed all these putts. I think I hit form around summer time in Europe. The course is presented well, in good condition and I like a lot about it -- some courses stick in your mind and you can produce good shots."

Wood will make his Masters debut next April as a result of his third-place finish at the British Open, where he missed out on a play-off due to a bogey at his final hole.

The 21-year-old, who like Hansen is seeking to qualify for the Ryder Cup, also had a flawless round as he carded six birdies.

He was one stroke ahead of a group of four players: Scotland's David Drysdale, England's Ross Fisher, James Kingston of South Africa and Australian Scott Strange.

Kingston recovered from a triple-bogey seven at the 426-yard second hole, having started with a birdie. He picked up shots on three and four, then added three more birdies and an eagle on his back nine.

England's Simon Dyson, Scotsman Paul Lawrie and Italian Francesco Molinari were tied for seventh on 68.

The highest-ranked players in 78-man field, Lee Westwood and Henrik Stenson, were in a group of 15 players tied for 20th on 70 which also included fellow Ryder Cup stars Darren Clarke and Miguel Angel Jimenez and 2008 Masters champion Trevor Immelman.

Tournament host Bernhard Langer carded 71 despite suffering two consecutive double-bogeys, as he fought back with two straight birdies then picked up an eagle at 15 and picked up another shot at his last hole.

Defending champion Robert Karlsson, last year's Order of Merit winner, is still sidelined by his ongoing eye problems.

All About Soren HansenChris WoodLee WestwoodDarren ClarkeBernhard LangerPGA European Tour ResultsRyder CupGolf

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