Nystrom makes the early running in Portugal

Henrik Nystrom, who is ranked outside the world's top 1,000, was the early leader during the first round of the Estoril Open de Portugal.

The 41-year-old Swede recorded five birdies against one bogey on his opening nine before adding two birdies in three holes to sit atop the leaderboard on six under with six holes to play at the Penha Longa Golf Club at Sintra, near Lisbon.

England's Richard Bland was one shot behind after six birdies in his opening 15 holes, while Norwegian Eirik Tage Johansen and Christian Nilsson of Sweden were in joint third, a further shot behind. Seven players were on three under midway through their opening rounds.

Nystrom, who missed the cut at four of his last five European Tour events, including last week's Wales Open at Celtic Manor, enjoyed a tremendous start and was three under through three holes. His run of three birdies on the opening three par-fours was ended with a bogey five on the 434-yard fourth. But he responded by picking up birdies at holes six and eight to reach the turn in four under 32. Further birdies on holes 10 and 12 saw Nystrom well positioned to at least continue in the event into the weekend.

Bland, from Southampton, was also in a good position early on. The 37-year-old, who retained his European Tour card last year after three top-10 finishes, reached the turn in 33 after birdies at holes one, three, six and nine and a bogey at the fifth. He picked up two further birdies at holes 10 and 12 to lie one shot behind Nystrom.

The chasing pack included Thomas Bjorn of Denmark, Bristol's Chris Wood – the highest-ranked player in the field at world number 81 – former Ryder Cup ace Peter Baker and Alastair Forsyth.

England's Simon Khan has been called into the field for next week's United States Open. Khan's victory in the European Tour's flagship BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth three weeks ago did not earn him a place at Pebble Beach and he lost in a qualifying play-off at Walton Heath.

But the Essex golfer comes in as first reserve because Justin Rose, who lifted the Memorial Tournament in Ohio on Sunday, needed to have won at least one other PGA Tour event in the past year to be given an exemption.

Khan shot 67-70 in the qualifier and was part of a six-man play-off for the final five spots, but missed out when he parred and, amazingly, the other five all sank birdie putts. His call-up completes a remarkable turn of fortune for the man who was 471st in the world before Wentworth.

Suggested Topics
News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?