Flawless Karlberg enjoys solid start in Russia

Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg opened with a bogey-free five-under-par 67 to lie in tied fourth position at the M2M Russian Open on Thursday.

The Black Mountain sponsored player fired three birdies and one remarkable eagle to trail Englishman David Horsey by two shots in the European Tour event.

Karlberg, currently ranked second on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, got off to fast start when he birdied holes one and three. After 11 straight pars, the Swede holed a long range eagle on 15 before marking his card with a final birdie on 17.

He was disappointed not to birdie 18 but is still in good position to secure his first European Tour victory.

“I made some good saves and then holed a great eagle putt on the 15th, so that helped me move up the leaderboard and give me some momentum for the last few holes. I birdied the 17th and I was unlucky not to birdie 18 as well – the putt just lipped out,” said Karlberg.

Fredrik Andersson Hed, also a Black Mountain player, posted a 70 to sit in tied 23rd place. Berry Henson of the United States and Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand had a day to forget after shooting disappointing 75 and 78 respectively.