Webster makes a stylish return

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The Independent Online

By Mark Garrod

Steven Webster marked his return to competitive action by heading the field after the opening round of the Alfred Dunhill Links championship at Carnoustie.

The 32-year-old from Nuneaton carved out an impressive seven-under-par 65 over the testing Angus links to move into a one-shot lead over Paul Lawrie of Scotland, Denmark's Soren Hansen, Hennie Otto of South Africa and Australia's Scott Strange.

Webster has not played on the tour since the KLM Open more than a month ago due to a back injury. But after bouncing back in style he said: "I didn't think I've ever broken 70 in this tournament so it's a bit of a breakthrough for me."

Former Open champion Lawrie carded a neat six-under 66 as he took a share of second. Defending champion Padraig Harrington returned to the scene of his Open triumph in July and compiled a steady two-under 70, while British Masters winner Lee Westwood also finished on two-under.