Date: May 31, 2013
Author: Omnisport

Manassero continues fine form at Nordea

Matteo Manassero hit a first-round score of six under par to share the lead at the end of the first day of the Nordea Masters. The Italian showcased just why he was able to secure victory in a dramatic three-way play-off at the BMW PGA Championship last week, hitting eight birdies and just two bogeys as he raced to the head of the leaderboard in Stockholm on Thursday. He shares the lead with world number 98 Pablo Larrazabal, who bogeyed only once on his way to an identical score of 66. Home duo Frederik Andersson Hed and Alexander Noren are a shot further back in joint second, with Wales&apos Jamie Donaldson and English pairing Simon Wakefield and Chris Lloyd all in contention after shooting opening rounds of five under par. Alejandro Canizares, who finished one shot behind Manassero at Wentworth last week, is also well positioned to make a run at the title as birdies on the 15th and 17th holes helped him to a score of four under par for the round. Additional hope for the home fans came via the performances of world number 23 Peter Hanson and compatriot Rikard Karlberg, who both find themselves very much in with a chance of victory after each posted rounds of three under par to start the tournament. World number 38 and Ryder Cup winner Francesco Molinari is two under par, and the Italian will be hopeful of surging up the standings after a birdie at the 17th left him four shots off the lead. Molinari is tied with 17 other players, including Australian Richard Green, in a massive logjam. Daniel Gaunt (even) is the next best Australian in a share of 61st spot while compatriots Andrew Dodt (five over) and Scott Arnold (nine over) have made horrid starts to the tournament.