Swedish amateur Karlsson tied for lead after first round at Nordea Masters

robert karlsson
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Amateur player Robert Karlsson is no relation to his well-known countryman, veteran European Tour player Robert Karlsson.

Series: European Tour

Published: Thursday, July 21, 2011 | 3:27 p.m.

Swedish amateur golfer Robert Karlsson was on top on the leaderboard with countryman Alexander Noren and Jaco Van Zyl of South Africa after they shot 5-under 67s in Thursday's first round of the Nordea Masters.

The 22-year-old Karlsson, one of only three amateurs in the tournament, made seven birdies and one double-bogey on the 7,603-yard (6,952-meter) Bro Hof Slott course -- the longest on the European Tour this year.

2011 NORDEA MASTERS

Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., and opened in 2007, Bro Hof is considered one of the world's best new courses and a potential Ryder Cup host in the future.

Karlsson said the lead took him by total surprise.

"We had set no goals aside from just having fun," Karlsson said of his caddie. "I hadn't really expected this when I stood by the tee this morning. It feels really good. I started to feel more and more comfortable with the shots and then it just kind of flowed. It felt like I was in the moment the whole time. I wasn't thinking either back or forward, I was just in the moment."

Noren made eight birdies, one bogey and a double bogey, while Van Zyl holed six birdies and a bogey.

Dustin Johnson, who shared second place in the British Open on Sunday, hit a 73 while fellow American Bubba Watson shot a 71.

Local favorite and defending champion Richard S. Johnson hit a 70.

The tournament changed its name to Nordea Masters from Scandinavian Nordea Masters this year.