Horsey claims first round lead

European Tour

David Horsey carded a first round 65 to claim a one-shot lead after the first day of the Russian Open.

The 29-year-old Englishman birdied three of his last four holes to reach a score of seven-under-par after the opening 18 holes, one shot in front of playing partner Scott Jamieson and Peter Whiteford.

On five-under, there is a group of eight players, which includes another Scot Jack Doherty, as well as South Africans Oliver Bekker and Louis de Jager, India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar, Australian Jack Wilson, Belgium’s Thomas Pieters and Rikard Karlberg of Sweden.

The 24-year-old Kieffer is another player that finished the round strongly, having birdied four holes in the back nine to come home in 32.

“It’s a really fun course so I enjoyed the round a lot,” Kieffer told the European Tour’s official website after the round.

“It’s playing quite long because it’s soft, but that also means you can go at pins a bit more, and I had a lot of opportunities today.

“It’s not often you have rounds where you feel like every part of your game is working well, but that’s how it was today.

“There’s still a long way to go, but this is a good start. It’s not such a strong field so my expectations are higher than normal this week, but I’ve still got to play well and take it shot by shot.”

Pieters, who is a Qualifying School graduate, also enjoyed the soft conditions at Tseleevo Golf and Polo Club

“My driving was excellent today,” the 22-year-old Pieters said.

“I’ve been struggling with it recently so I’ve been working hard with a new coach to change a couple of things.

“The course is great – the fairways are in excellent condition and the greens are rolling well.

“Every week is a chance to win and do well, but this is may be a better opportunity than most.”

Three players are in a tie for 12th place on four-under after rounds of 68.

They are Oskar Henningsson, Jorge Campillo and Jamie McLeary, of Sweden, Spain and Scotland respectively.

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