Edouard Dubois made a promising start to his bid to win three times in a month, carding a first round four under par 68 to share the lead in The Princess by Schüco.
The Frenchman, who won the Kärnten Golf Open presented by Mazda earlier this month and the Scottish Hydro Challenge last week, continued his fine form with five birdies and an eagle over the Lakes course.
He is joint leader with Englishman James Hepworth and Frenchman François Calmels, while 11 players from the morning session were a shot back at three under in the €200,000 event.
A double bogey at the 17th was the only blemish on Dubois’ card, but overall he was delighted.
“I putted very well today,” said the 22 year old, who teed off from the tenth. “I made two mistakes, at the 17th when I went in the water and on the 18th, but apart from that it was very good. I played the front nine perfectly.
“I think this afternoon will be tougher because the wind is getting up. We had 12 or 13 holes without any wind which helped a lot.
“I am feeling so confident at the moment after two wins in three weeks. It’s amazing. I’m enjoying my golf so much and feel like I can win every time.”
Hepworth opened with three consecutive birdies and added another at the ninth, and picked up more shots at the 11th, 13th and 18th. However, bogeys at the tenth, 15th and 16th undid some of his progress.
“It was a great start and got to five under with three holes to go,” said the Yorkshireman. “Then on the 16th I hit a two iron to about 12 feet and three-putted. That was annoying, particularly as I’d had a bogey the previous hole.
“The 17th was playing hard so I was happy to par it, and then to finish with a birdie at the last was nice. The course is fantastic and the greens are very good. Hopefully the weather can stay like this and it’ll be a great week.”
The Princess is a tournament created by six-time European Tour champion Henrik Stenson, winner of the Challenge Tour Rankings in 2000, who named it after his daughter, Lisa. Stenson wanted to ensure there remained a Challenge Tour event in Sweden, giving up and coming players the chances he had.