Cologne, Germany (SportsNetwork.com) - Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Danny Willett both fired 8-under 64s on Thursday and they shared the first-round lead at the BMW International Open.
Cabrera-Bello has a pair of European Tour titles, while Willett's lone win was at this event in 2012.
Anders Hansen, the 2008 runner-up, opened with a 6-under 66 at Golf Club Gut Larchenhof. He was joined in third place by Alvaro Quiros, Michael Hoey, Gary Stal, Graeme Storm, Emiliano Grillo and Andy Sullivan.
Miguel Angel Jimenez, the 2004 champion, posted a 5-under 67 on Thursday. He shares 10th place with Sam Walker, Branden Grace, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Nacho Elvira, Romain Wattel, Shane Lowry, Jorge Campillo and Tom Lewis.
U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer managed a 1-under 71 and is tied for 65th after one round.
Kaymer birdied the 13th and 15th, but gave those shots back when he double- bogeyed the 16th. He coughed up another stroke when he bogeyed the 18th. Around the turn, Kaymer ran off three straight birdies from the first to move to minus-2. After three pars in a row, Kaymer bogeyed the seventh, then parred his final two holes.
Cabrera-Bello, who played alongside Willett in the first round, dropped in back-to-back birdies at three and four. After a par on the fifth, he converted a birdie chance on the par-4 sixth.
The Spaniard made it two in a row as he also birdied the seventh. After three pars in a row, he converted a birdie chance on the par-3 12th.
Cabrera-Bello soared into the lead as he birdied three of four holes from the 14th to jump to 8-under. He parred the last to end there.
"It was a really, really good way for me to start. I had no dropped shots. I played pretty steady. I had no peaks or valleys," Cabrera-Bello said. "I'm playing good. Hopefully, I can keep it up."
Willett got off to a fast start with birdies at two and three. After a pair of pars, he birdied the sixth to move to minus-3.
Around the turn, Willett birdied the first two holes of the back nine. He again converted back-to-back birdie chances at 14 and 15 to move within one of the lead.
Willett birdied the 18th to join Cabrera-Bello in the lead.
"We played good today. Rolled in a few nice ones and didn't make any mistakes,"Willett stated. "I've been working really hard on the greens and it has paid off nicely."
NOTES: Cabrera-Bello has finished inside the top-30 in each of his last three starts, and has five top-10 finishes on the season ... Willett has withdrawn from two events this season, but hasn't missed a cut. He has three top-10 finishes, including a share of third last week at the Irish Open.