Dantorp inspired by home fans

European Tour

Rookie Jens Dantorp said he had his local Swedish fans to thank for grabbing a share of the first-round lead at the Nordea Masters.

Dantorp shot a six-under-par 66 to finish the day tied atop the leaderboard with England’s Eddie Pepperell.

Dantorp carded six unanswered birdies in his home town of Malmo, and said he loved getting the opportunity to play in front of his local fans.

“This is my home course so I try to play it as much as I can when I’m home,” Dantorp told the European Tour’s website. “I can’t really explain how good the support I got today was.

“All my friends, all my buddies were here and there was so much applause. That was one of the biggest keys to my success today; it definitely helped me.

“Peter Hanson has helped me a lot. It’s great to go to the States to see him over the winter when you can’t practice here. He’s been a great mentor to me and has helped me through things, so I feel more comfortable in situations such as this.

“This season has been solid. I’ve not quite had the results I would have wanted but it will come, I’m sure. It’s all new to me so I’m taking it easy.”

Pepperell birdied three of his last four holes to grab a share of the lead.

“I’m very pleased with that opening round,” said the 23-year-old. “It was fairly windy out there so 66 is a good score.

“I played well today and I hit the ball better, which is the main thing for me. I’ve not been hitting the ball that well over the last couple of weeks, despite some good results.

“Confidence is coming. The last two weeks have been good for me because I’ve been up there in the tournament at some point, but the Saturday in Spain I played some terrible shots, which I knew was to do with the swing.

“I’m trying to get that sorted and I went home after Monday and saw my coach on Tuesday, so I didn’t get here until Wednesday. I had a good lesson with my coach and today was as good as I’ve hit the ball in a long time.”

The duo hold a one-shot lead over three other Swedes, Johan Carlsson, Rikard Karlberg and Sebastian Soderberg, Scot Stephen Gallacher, Northern Ireland’s Gareth Maybin and Dutchman Daan Huizing.

Also in the mix is world number two Henrik Stenson, on three under after an opening 69, while his playing partner Thomas Bjorn shot a 70 and sits alongside defending champion Mikko Ilonen.

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