American Kevin Carissimi began his defence of the Öhrlings Swedish Match Play at Kristianstads with a comprehensive 7 and 5 victory over Sweden’s Mikael Krantz in the first round.
Carissimi won twice on the Challenge Tour last year but missed out on graduating to the main Tour by the narrowest of margins when he finished 16th in the Rankings. A good week this week would put him right back into contention for one of the top 15 spots.
One casualty of the first round was the Number One seed Eric Carlberg, who lost his match to Peter Gustafsson 4 and 3. Gustafsson truned professional earlier this year after having played for the Swedish National Team. He has won once on the Swedish Telia Tour this year.
Among the 16 seeds Leif Westerberg, Mattias Eliasson, last year's runner-up, Fredrik Henge and Richard S Johnsson were also eliminated.
Klas Eriksson, joint third in last week’s Scottish PGA Championship at Gleneagles after leading going into the final round disposed of Venezuela’s Carlos Larrain by 4 and 3. However, the other Venezuelan in the field, Juan Nutt inflicted the biggest defeat of the day on the local favourite, Daniel Olsson, an amateur from the home club.
Paul Nilbrink, winner of the Volvo Finnish Masters earlier this year survived a tough battle against Mikko Manerus of Finland to scrape through on the 19th hole. Pehr Magnebrant, winner of the last Challenge Tour event in Norway, similarly survived a closely fought battle to eventually overcome compatriot Peter Hansson on the 19th.
European Tour player Kalle Brink also safely made it over the first hurdle, beating Hans Edberg by 3 and 2 to join the other 63 players in the second round.