European Tour

Spaniard Canizares leads Austrian Open, SA's Kruyswijk a shot adrift

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Alejandro Canizares. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Alejandro Canizares. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Spain's Alejandro Canizares carded a gutsy 67 to take a one shot lead after the opening round of the Austrian Open on Thursday.

In very cold and sometimes windy conditions at Diamond Country Club, the Spaniard carded an eagle and four birdies with a single dropped shot to get to five under.

There was then 14 European Tour wins in the group a shot back, with two-time major champion Martin Kaymer, two-time winner in 2020 John Catlin and former Italian Open champion Rikard Karlberg at four under alongside South African Jacques Kruyswijk.

"I'm very pleased," the 38-year-old Canizares told the European Tour website. "It was tough to keep focus - it's so cold. It was tough to feel the hands and that's very important.

"I think the strength was just keeping my head on every shot because it's very easy when you miss a shot to let it go on days like this when you're struggling physically and mentally to keep warm.

"It was just do my process and do every shot and I was happy the way I managed bad shots because I didn't let them get to me like has happened in the past. That was the key.

"I didn't think that I played wonderfully tee to green, it wasn't beautiful, but I hit some really good shots and I made some good putts in the end, so a solid round overall."

English duo Daniel Gavins and Richard Mansell, Spaniard Pedro Oriol and Dane Jeff Winther were at three under, a shot clear of a group of 10 players.

Leading first round scores in the European Tour's Austrian Open at the Diamond Country Club, Atzenbrugg, Austria on Thursday (GBR/IRL unless stated, Par 72):

67 - Alejandro Canizares (ESP)

68 - Martin Kaymer (GER), John Catlin (USA), Rikard Karlberg (SWE), Jacques Kruyswijk (RSA)

69 - Richard Mansell, Jeff Winther (DEN), Pedro Oriol (ESP), Daniel Gavins

70 - David Ravetto (FRA), Thomas Detry (BEL), David Drysdale, Grant Forrest, Lorenzo Gagli (ITA), Julien Guerrier (FRA), Ewen Ferguson, Bernd Ritthammer (GER), Nicolai Hoejgaard (DEN), Hurly Long (GER)

71 - Kurt Kitayama (USA), Joost Luiten (NED), Rasmus Hoejgaard (DEN), Matthias Schwab (AUT), Justin Walters (RSA), Adrian Meronk (POL), Benjamin Poke (DEN), Adrien Saddier (FRA), Kim Sihwan (KOR), Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (ESP), Emilio Cuartero (ESP)

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