Craig Howie shares lead in Scandinavian Mixed after bogey-free 65

Craig Howie shook off a run of three consecutive missed cuts on the DP World Tour to earn a share of the first-round lead in the Volvo Car Scandinavian Mixed event in Sweden.

The 27-year-old Peebles man carded a bogey-free seven-under-par 65 at Halmstad as he set the pace along with fellow DP World Tour players Matthieu Pavon and Santiago Tarrio, as well as Italian amateur Carolina Melgrati.

“Really pleased,” said Howie of his day’s work, which was sparked by birdies at the second and sixth going out before adding further gains at tenth, 11th, 14th, 15th and 17th coming home.

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“I played nicely, quite solid. It was difficult to know how the scoring would be this week, so I was just kind of freeing it up and going."

Craig Howie and his caddie on the 18th hole during the first round of the Volvo Car Scandinavian Mixed Hosted by Henrik & Annika at Halmstad Golf Club. Picture: Naomi Baker/Getty Images.

In his rookie season on then main tour, Howie started brightly by making six successive cuts before going off the boil a bit over the past month or so.

“I had a bit of an injury and missed three events in a row, but before then I was playing really well,” he added.

“Just having a month off, I maybe came back a bit rusty, maybe came back a little too early, but I have been working hard the last couple weeks.

“I feel like although I’ve missed the cut the last few weeks, I haven’t actually played that badly, I think maybe just a bit of ring rust and I feel like having done a good bit of work over the last two weekends that my game is in a good place.”

Marc Warren, with a 69, was next best among the Scots in an event that involves players from the DP World Tour and Ladies European Tour are battling it out over the same course for one prize fund and one trophy.

“I have been thinking a lot about it the last few days,” said Howie of the course set up. “But I do think this golf course is a perfect mix for both and I think it sets up well for us and the women, so I think in terms of venue there couldn’t really be a better venue for fairness.”

Tournament hosts Henrik Stenson and Annika Sorenstam opened with 70 and 74 respectively.

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