Lundberg resurgent in Atzenbrugg

Former two-time European Tour champion Mikael Lundberg grabbed a share of the lead at the Lyoness Open on Thursday.

The Swede won the Russian Open in 2005 and 2008, but has spent the last three years heading back to Qualifying School after failing to reach his previous heights.

He made a good start at Diamond CC in Atzenbrugg, Austria, on Thursday, however, shooting a five-under-par 67 in the first round to share a one-shot lead with England’s Adam Gee as he chases a first Tour title in six years.

Lundberg had six birdies against a single bogey, while Gee eagled the 13th before adding four birdies and dropping his only shot at the 18th.

“I played pretty solid all day and made a few putts, so it all added up to a pretty good day,” Lundberg told the European Tour website.

“Nothing was spectacular today, but everything was pretty solid. I’ve been working well with my new coach, and we’ve made a lot of progress over the past four weeks.

“My long game is working well, my short game comes and goes so I’m still a little bit inconsistent around the greens, but I’m getting there.

“You have to be very careful out there. The course is very firm, so you have to be very precise off the tee – you don’t want to take any unnecessary chances, because you can soon get caught out.”

Co-leader Gee said: “When we arrived at the course the wind was blowing pretty hard, which is maybe why a few of the guys struggled a bit more in the morning,” he said.

“I think we definitely got the better half of the draw, which was another bit of fortune that went my way, but I’ll certainly take it.

“I’ve been playing quite nicely lately, there were some good signs last week and I’ve continued that progress here. There’s still a long way to go, but the signs are encouraging.”

Lying just one shot off the pace are Welshman Rhys Davies, and English duo Richard Finch and Matthew Baldwin, while a group of eight players that includes Scott Henry, Richard Bland and Ross McGowan.

Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez , at World No 27 the highest ranked player in the field by some margin, opened with a two-under 70 to lie three strokes back.