Also very much in the hunt at the Jacques Lemans Golf Club are Roland Steiner and Manuel Trappel on five under par, while Lukas Nemecz (-4), Leonhard Astl and Jurgen Maurer (both -2) are also very much in the hunt to become the first home winner of the Kärnten Golf Open presented by Mazda.
Given the pressure of playing at home and the increased level of expectation on every Austrian in the field this week, Praegant, who is from a town called Bad Kleinkirchheim just 40 miles from this week’s host venue, was particularly delighted with his opening effort.
“I played quite well and putted very well today – that was the difference,” said Praegant, who holed out from almost 30 feet for an eagle three on the second hole. “The greens here are running so well and the course in general is in really good condition.
“It feels really good to get into contention early at this event because there is certainly a bit more pressure and expectation on the Austrian players this week.
“My home town is 50 minutes from here so I have some great support with me and it was nice to be able to play so well in front of some of my friends and family because sometimes it doesn’t go that way.
“Playing in your own country is definitely a different experience but I hope I can use those nerves and that extra pressure in the right way and keep playing well for the rest of the week.”