Alstom Open de France, 1st round, Christian Nilsson Leads

Sweden’s Christian Nilsson leads the Alstom Open de France after the first round at Le Golf National in Paris. His opening round of -6 under par 65, on the par 71 layout, gives him a one shot advantage over three other competitors. The players tied for second spot on -5 under par are; England’s Gary Boyd, Italy’s teenager Matteo Manassero  and Thongchai Jaidee from Thailand.

Christian Nilsson  (Getty Images)

Christian Nilsson (Getty Images)

Christian said in interview;

“It’s been a struggle for me so far this year. My long game was pretty bad, but it’s improved and this is good for my confidence. I’ve been very patient I think. I’ve been practising on things I believe in and just waiting for something to happen, finally looks like it did.”

Gary Boyd referred to the terrible round he had at Celtic Manor;

“That was a bit of a disaster, but I’ve had a lot of positive signs the last three weeks. I’m working on the right things I feel and am getting comfortable again. My game wasn’t where it needed to be and it was time to take a time-out.”

Matteo was happy with his round;

“It was a very good round, everything was going the right direction, the way I wanted. You have to give yourself the most opportunities for birdies that you can, and I didn’t feel like I putted that well, but I was solid and I made some of those chances.”

England’s World Number Three Lee Westwood recovered from four over after six holes and from playing one shot while standing in a lake, to match Open Champion Darren Clarke’s 70. Lee said he did not do too much wrong;

 “I didn’t do much wrong to be four over, but there’s not a lot of panic in me any more , I haven’t got much time for that. It was not going my way, but you just have to get it out of your mind.”

Of the water adventure on hole nine, Lee remembered Thomas Levet jumping in the lake and breaking his leg after winning last year,  he said;

” I didn’t know what was in there, I’ve got plenty of shoes with me.”

Darren Clark, who made his first cut of the year at Royal Portrush last Friday, managed to mix five birdies, two of them in the dangerous last three holes , with two bogey sixes and a double bogey six, for his -1 under par round of 70.