Alejandro Canizares resisted cold and breezy conditions to shoot a 5-under 67 Thursday for a one-stroke lead after the opening day of the season of the Austrian Open.
The Spaniard carded an eagle and four birdies to sit before a quartet of players, which included previous No. 1 Martin Kaymer and John Catlin, a two-time winner in 2020.
“It was tough to keep focused, it was so cold,” Canizares said. “It’s tough to feel the hands and that’s very important.”
Canizares’ just setback was an bogey on the par-four 12th.
“I putted very nicely, missed a short one when I made the bogey,” he said.
Aside from Kaymer and Catlin, Rikard Karlsberg and Jacques Kruyswijk additionally completed their opening round on 68.
The highest-ranked player in the field, No. 47 Thomas Detry, was tied for tenth after a 70.
The Austrian Open is the first European Tour event in 2021 on European soil. It replaces the Tenerife Open, which is taking the slot of the Portugal Masters on April 29-May 2. The event in Portugal can’t be organized due travel limitations in the midst of the Covid pandemic.