Walters made six birdies and an eagle in a bogey-free round. His eagle on the 15th came just before heavy rain started coming down, and play had to be suspended for nearly four hours in the afternoon.
When play was stopped for the day because of darkness, 59 players had yet to complete their rounds. Four players were tied for second, three shots behind Waters — including Benjamin Hebert of France and Bernd Wiesberger of Austria.
Two-time major winner Martin Kaymer was among eight players another shot back at the Belfry, which is hosting a European Tour event for the first time in 12 years. Brendan Lawlor of Ireland became the first disabled golfer to compete on the European Tour. The 22-year-old Lawlor, who has a rare bone growth disorder called Ellis-van Creveld syndrome, is ranked fourth in the world among disabled golfers and was given an invite by the title sponsor.
He shot a 12-over 84 but said the tournament will “change my life.” “I’m just so grateful to be competing on the same stage as these guys and getting opportunities like this,” Lawlor said.
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