Swedish charge sees Karlsson and Edfors lead way;golf

ROBERT KARLSSON and Johan Edfors led a strong Swedish challenge

on the opening day of the Portugal

Masters in Vilamoura.

Both men carded eight-under-par rounds of 64 on the Oceanico

Victoria course to lead alongside Dutchman Maarten Lafeber.

Brombrough golfer Paul Waring is six shots off the lead after a

two-under par 70, but Liverpool’s Nick Dougherty shot a

disappointing six-over par round of 78.

Another Swede, Alexander Noren, was a shot further back, with

Finland’s Mikko Ilonen.

David Horsey was the best-placed Englishman on six under,

alongside veteran Irishman Paul McGinley.

Karlsson and Edfors both covered the Oceanico Victoria course in

unblemished rounds including eight birdies.

Karlsson was a model of consistency after starting his round on

the 10th, picking up birdies on his first, the 12th, the 16th and

the 17th.

He was equally efficient coming back, picking up shots at two,

three, four and six, and found the conditions to his liking.

“I think with this kind of set-up with not so much rough, that’s

very often what we play in Sweden,” Karlsson told europeantour.

com. “It’s a bit similar to Swedish golf, and the speed of the

greens as well are not super fast.

“I think we are very used to playing this type of golf on our

home courses where we grew up.”

He added: “If the wind stays down, this is one of the courses

you can shoot, especially now when the rough is down, as well. So

without wind, the (record) 59 is possible.”

COLLATED first round scores in the Portugal Masters in Vilamoura

(Par 72): 64 Robert Karlsson (Swe), Maarten Lafeber (Ned), Johan

Edfors (Swe), 65 Alexander Noren (Swe), 66 David Horsey, 67 Charl

Schwartzel (Rsa), David Howell, Alvaro Quiros (Spa)Selected Others:

70 Paul Waring, 78 Nick Dougherty