Aguilar masters Atzenbrugg to move ahead

Felipe Aguilar hit rare form on Thursday to take a two-shot lead at the Lyoness Open after Thursday's opening round.

The Chilean's last of his two European Tour wins came in 2014, while his previous best placing on tour in 2017 was tied for 41st at the Qatar Masters.

But Aguilar was in fine fettle in Atzenbrugg, erasing the pain of a bogey at 11 with eight birdies to pull clear of a clutch of three players on five under.

Jaco van Zyl and Ashley Chesters carded blemish-free rounds of 67, while Johan Carlson joined them with a birdie at the last.

Van Zyl has five runners-up finishes on the European Tour - including this season's Qatar Masters - but is still searching for that elusive first victory.

The South African made birdies on the second, third, 13th, 15th and 16th to set the early target and while a host of players would briefly join him at the top of the leaderboard, only Carlsson and Chesters could make it stick before Aguilar went better still.

Aguilar said: "The way I started playing golf today is always a good sign but this is only 25 per cent of the tournament, we still have three days to go, it's a long tournament, there are some really good players this week and the course is in great condition so you've got to keep the good work up.

"I'm going to stay focused on what I am doing, trying to hit fairways which is very important this week, the greens are going to get very difficult so you have to be able to hit the second shots from the fairway.

"I'm going to keep the same strategy, this is just the beginning of the week and we still have three days to go."

Graeme Storm, Oliver Wilson and amateur Joel Stalter are on four under, while former champions Bernd Wiesberger and Wu Ashun - last year's winner - are in a 13-strong group on two under.

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