Andersson Hed sets early pace in France

Sweden's Fredrik Andersson Hed carded six birdies in a blemish-free round of 65 to claim a one-stroke lead on the first day of the St Omer Open in northern France.

Sweden's Fredrik Andersson Hed carded six birdies in a blemish-free round of 65 to claim a one-stroke lead on the first day of the St Omer Open in northern France.

The 37-year-old edged ahead of Australian duo Michael Curtain and Tony Carolan as the best of the morning starters.

Andersson Hed, starting at the 10th, began with a birdie and added another at the 476-yard 15th to turn at two under.

After four successive pars he then birdied four of his final five holes to move to the top of the leaderboard in the £514,000 (€598,884) event, co-sanctioned by the European and Challenge Tours.

He was almost caught by Carolan, who also started on the back nine, but the Australian bogeyed his penultimate hole - the 389-yard eighth - and only a birdie at the last lifted him back up.

Curtain also dropped a shot on the eighth but he made amends with an eagle at the 500-yard next to turn in 33 and three birdies and one bogey on the back nine lifted him to five under.

One stroke back are Spaniard Carlos Del Moral - who also eagled the ninth to cover the front nine in a best-of-the-day 32 - and Surrey's James Morrison who did not drop a shot in his round of 67.

Last year's runner-up Christian Nilsson carded three birdies to reach the group on three under.

The in-form Robert Coles, who has won twice already this year on the Challenge Tour, was one under after four holes.

Coles, a 36-year-old from Hornchurch, has yet to finish outside the top 20 in six events.

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