Thursday, 17 February 2000
Young Swede Eric Carlberg blitzed the Golf del Guadiana course in a record eight-under-par 64 as the 2000 European Challenge Tour got underway in Spain.

The 25 year old, who threatened to give up the game after failing to gain his European Tour card last November, returned two eagles and four birdies, one of the eagles coming with a hole-in-one at the 189-yard 16th.

It leaves him four strokes clear at the top of a Swedish dominated leaderboard and with every chance of winning the Challenge de España and securing his first Challenge Tour victory in six years.

Five players share second spot on 68 including two more Swedes, Pehr Magnebrant and Mikael Lundberg, and two Spaniards, Alvaro Salto and Yago Beamonte.

A fourth Swede, Daniel Westerberg, and Manuel Moreno from Spain, are on 69.

On a day when 32 players broke par, England's Carl Watts and Andrew Sherborne, who both lost their cards in 1999, are among a large group on 71 which also includes Walker Cup Scot, Graham Rankin.

But it was Carlberg who stole the show. Out early, he set a red hot pace that no one could match.

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