Sweden’s Ola Eliasson, who lives in Marbella, Spain, felt at home in his adopted country as he took a one stroke lead with a seven under par 65 in the first round of the Philips Challenge Xacobeo 99 Challenge Tour event at Club de Golf La Coruna.
Eliasson, who has made eight cuts from eleven starts this season to lie 40th on the Challenge Tour Rankings, chipped in twice to compile a score which gives him a narrow advantage over Frenchman Benoit Teilleria.
The 29 year old Swede chipped in at the seventh from 30 feet and then eagled the 13th with two drivers and a chip from 45 feet for a superb three at the 529 yard hole.
He said: “My putting was very good. In fact, everything was good today. My season has been up and down but I did finish fifth in the Swedish Match Play, so hopefully I can have another good week.”
Teilleria had seven birdies and one bogey on his card, but a 66 kept him right in touch with Eliasson. Currently eighth on the Rankings, he looks set to win his card by finishing in the top 15. He commented: It’s been a very good season. I’ve been very steady and the only club I’ve not been comfortable with is my driver.”
David A Russell from England was leading British player with a five under par 67.