Karlsson, two others share lead in Portugal

Robert Karlsson fired an eight-under 64

Thursday to grab a share of the lead after the opening round

of the Portugal


The Swede was joined in the first by his countryman Johan Edfors

and Frenchman

Maarten Lafeber.

A third Swede, Alexander Noren, shares fourth place at

minus-seven with Mikko


David Horsey and Paul McGinley are tied for sixth at six-under


Karlsson played the back nine first Thursday and collected his

first birdie on

his opening hole. He came back with another birdie on the


The Swede dropped in back-to-back birdie efforts from the 16th

at Oceanico

Victoria Clube de Golfe to turn at minus-four.

Karlsson poured in three consecutive birdies from the second to

jump to minus-

seven. He grabbed a share of the lead with a birdie on the

sixth. Karlsson

closed with three straight pars to finish his round.

“I think with this kind of setup, with not so much rough, that’s

very often

what we play in Sweden. It’s a bit similar to Swedish golf,

and the speed of

the greens as well are not super fast,” said Karlsson of the


conditions. “I think we are very used to playing this type of

golf on our home

courses where we grew up.”

Edfors, a three-time winner on the European Tour, got into red

figures with

birdies on two and five. He headed to the back nine at

minus-three after a

birdie on the par-four ninth.

He followed with birdies on 10 and 11. Edfors, who turned 35

this past Sunday,

ran off three birdies in a four-hole span from the 14th to

get to eight-under.

He parred the last to close out a bogey-free round.

Lafeber flew out of the gate with three straight birdies from

the 10th. That

run ended with a bogey on the 13th, but he recovered with

birdies on 16 and


The Frenchman fell back to minus-two after a double-bogey at the

18th. Around

the turn, Lafeber flew up the leaderboard with five birdies

in his first six


Lafeber grabbed his share of the lead with a birdie at the

ninth, his last.

With three players shooting 64 in the opening round, Edfors made

a bold

prediction for the weekend.

“If the wind stays down…the 59 is possible.”

That is tough to argue after 81 of the 125 players broke par on


NOTES: Former U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell is among 15

players tied for

eighth at five-under 67…Lee Westwood, the defending

champion, is skipping

the event due to a leg injury…There are four European Ryder

Cup players in

the field this week – Edoardo Molinari and Ross Fisher are

tied for 23rd at

minus-four, Miguel Angel Jimenez shares 49th at two-under 70

and Francesco

Molinari is in danger of missing the cut plus-two.