Otaegui leads by two in Atzenbrugg

European Tour

Spaniard Adrian Otaegui started brightest at the Lyoness Open on Thursday, shooting a eight-under-par 64 to lead by two shots.

The 23-year-old is playing in his first full season as a member of the European Tour, having earned his card courtesy of rounds of 62 and 63 at Qualifying School in November.

Otaegui picked up a birdie at the third and three more in a row just before making the turn, and then added another hat-trick of gains from the 14th before putting the cherry on top with another birdie at the last following a superb tee shot that left him with just a tap in on the par-three.

With little experience of putting together four solid rounds at this level to win a tournament, Otaegui is hoping he can forge new ground and remain consistent in the days to come.

"I'm hoping now I can play four days in the same way so that's the main goal," he said.

"The course is pretty hard and it's not easy to get the ball close to the pin so I'm pretty pleased with it."

Lying in second place is Sweden's Bjorn Akesson, whose 66 leaves him two shots adrift. He added seven birdies and a solitary bogey on the day,

He's followed by Frenchman Gary Stal and South African Zander Lombard, both on five under, three back.

Stal briefly held the lead after eagling his sixth hole of the day, the 15th.

"I have found my game so I'm very happy. It's not every day you get two eagles in the same day – I holed out on the 15th after one bounce and on the second one I holed a ten foot putt."

Defending champion Chris Wood lies on one under after an opening 71. Bogeys at eight and nine, his closing holes, spoiled what had been a much better looking round.

Thomas Bjorn, meanwhile, withdrew after 15 holes due to a back injury.