Sweden's Anton Karlsson has fired an eight-under-par 63 to claim the lead after the first round of the Belgian Knockout in Antwerp.

Karlsson carded an eagle, seven birdies and a single bogey at Rinkven International Golf Club on Thursday to enjoy a two-shot lead over Chris Paisley, Dean Burmester and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano.

Karlsson is seeking a first European Tour title after graduating from the qualifying school for a second time last year – the World No.317 being part of a nine-way tie for second behind Justin Harding in Qatar in March.

Scotland's Robert MacIntyre, who has finished runner-up in each of his last two starts, is part of a six-way tie for fifth on five-under par following an opening 66.


The best Australians are Adam Bland, Deyen Lawson and Jake McLeod, who all carded opening round 69s to be six shots behind Karlsson.

Nick Cullen and Wade Ormsby are one shot back from that trio, while Brett Rumford made par.

Dimi Papadatos, meanwhile, finished two over, while Marcus Fraser was worse with four bogeys putting him four over.

The top 32 from each side of the draw after 36 holes of traditional stroke play will advance to the knockout stages over the weekend.

Players will then go head-to-head over nine holes of stroke play, with the player with the lowest score advancing to the next round until there is just one left standing.