News All Articles
Simon Forsström leads after stunning opening round in Belgium

Simon Forsström leads after stunning opening round in Belgium

Simon Forsström fired a flawless 64 on day one of the 2023 Soudal Open to open up a one-shot lead in Antwerp.

The Swede has enjoyed a fine start to the 2023 season since securing his DP World Tour card with a two-stroke victory at the Final Stage of Qualifying School in November, recording three top-ten finishes over the first five months of the campaign. 

He shone again in round one, carding seven birdies and no bogeys in the morning to set the early clubhouse target at seven under par. 

And although Andrew Wilson briefly joined him at the summit before a closing bogey meant the Englishman had to settle for a share of second place, no-one was able to match Forsström's first-round total.

James Morrison, Marcel Siem and Jens Dantorp sat alongside Wilson on six under following their opening 65s.

Forsström opened his round with a five-foot birdie on the first before picking up another shot from close range at the fourth.

The 34-year-old then made back-to-back birdies at the seventh and eighth as he turned in 32 blows.

After narrowly missing out on a birdie at the difficult tenth, Forsström reeled off a hat-trick of gains from the 11th to get to seven under before parring his way home.

Forsström said: "Everything went very well. 

"I hit the driver straight, put some shots very close and holed a couple of putts as well. Everything was rolling pretty well today.

"I've been playing pretty steady, making a lot of cuts and a couple of top tens. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season and seeing what I can do, I feel like the game is pretty good now.

"I always enjoyed playing in Belgium when we played here on the Challenge Tour. I like the course because it’s narrow and not so long, so it should fit me well. 

"When I saw it during the practice round I was very pleased with the course, I’m glad I could take advantage of it today."

Ukrainian amateur Lev Grinberg, who introduced himself to world golf at this event last year as he became the second-youngest player to make a cut in DP World Tour history at the age of 14 years, six months and six days, opened with a one-under-par 70.

After making three birdies and two bogeys on his home course on day one, Grinberg said: "What I learned (from last year) is you always have to stay patient and today I did, which gave me OK results.

"Some birdies didn't fall in like I wanted them to but hopefully tomorrow they'll go in. I can't wait for tomorrow."

Read next