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Green speeds to front of Scandinavian

Australian Richard Green found himself in some illustrious company going into the second round of the Nordea Scandinavian Masters as joint leader at Bro Hof near Stockholm today.

Green set the clubhouse target yesterday with a five-under-par 67, but was joined later by South African Louis Oosthuizen, winner of The Open on Sunday, and American Dustin Johnson.

While they have been hitting the headlines on the course, Green's main claim to fame since his last European Tour victory three years ago was away from it.

A motor racing fan since he was a kid, the former Dubai Desert Classic champion has started competing back home in a Porsche he owns at speeds in excess of 150mph.

"I don't know how fast -- I'm too busy looking at the road," said the 39-year-old. "It's certainly exhilarating enough to get the hairs on the back of your neck standing up.

"But golf's always going to be number one. It's what pays the bills."

Oosthuizen has inevitably been the centre of attention this week, though, and the 27-year-old was delighted by his start given how drained he has been feeling.

"I had a good sleep, but I woke up tired again," he said. "But the crowds were unbelievable, cheering me onto every green and every tee. It was important not to think too much about my week off back home next week."

Among those only a shot behind overnight were Korean KJ Choi and Edoardo Molinari.

Ballymoney's Michael Hoey was best of the Irish after the opening day, finishing up with a tidy two-under-par 70 to lie in a tie for 13th place. Gary Murphy fired a solid level-par 72.

Kells man Damien McGrane ended his day tied for 64th spot after a one-over 73 while Simon Thornton also signed for a 73. Peter Lawrie has work to do to make the cut after a 74.

Meanwhile, Brent Delahoussaye equalled the tournament record with a first-round 62 as he moved to the top of the leaderboard at the Canadian Open at St George's in Toronto.


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