Rafa Cabrera-Belo and Danny Willett share the lead at the BMW international Open in Munich on eight-under-par, while Michael Hoey is the leading Irishman on six under after a round of 66.

Shane Lowry is further shot behind Hoey on five-under-par, while Kevin Phelan finished the opening day on four under (68) at Gut Larchenhof.

Englishman Willett – winner of the event in 2012 - shared top spot with playing partner Spaniard Cabrera-Bello after Willett followed up on his outward nine of 33 with five birdies after the turn as he completed his round without dropping a shot, as did Cabrera-Bello.

That gave the pair a two-stroke lead over seven players including Hoey, England's Graeme Storm, and Andy Sullivan.

Willett, who finished tied-third at last weekend’s Irish Open, said: "It was good. It was one of those days when I rolled a few nice ones in.

"There was a score out there and we both took it.

"You can turn average rounds into good rounds when you hole a few putts and that is what I seemed to be doing."

Damien McGrane, meanwhile, shot 69, two shots better than Gareth Maybin (71), while Paul McGinley came in level (72), David Higgins (75) finished three over and Simon Thornton (76) four over.