Anthony Wall starts title defense with win at Paul Lawrie Match Play

BAD GRIESBACH, Germany -- Anthony Wall holed a long birdie putt on No. 18 to begin the defense of his Paul Lawrie Match Play title with a 1-up victory over Sam Walker in the first round Thursday.

The Englishman won the European Tour event, his first title in more than 16 years, when it was held in Scotland in 2016. It is being staged in Germany this year, and all four German participants -- Florian Fritsch, Maximilian Kieffer, Alexander Knappe and Marcel Siem -- advanced.

Edoardo Molinari also progressed by beating Ryder Cup vice-captain Robert Karlsson on the 24th hole, making it the longest match in the three-year history of the tournament.

Lawrie was 1 down with three to play but recovered to beat Peter Hanson on the 20th hole as the former Open champion started another bid to win the tournament he is hosting.

Mikko Ilonen beat Matthieu Pavon 8 and 7 in the most convincing win of the first round. Adrian Otaegui was 9 under in his 16 holes in beating Gary Stal 4 and 2.