PARIS, July 5 (UPI) --
Christian Nilsson produced his best round of the year by three shots Thursday to take the lead after the first round of the Open de France
Nilsson, a one-time winner on the European Tour, turned in a 6-under 65 at the Albatross Course while Matteo Manassero, Thongchai Jaidee and Gary Boyd were all at 66.
Those tied for fifth at 67 included Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, David Lynn and Federico Colobo.
Nilsson's round was highlighted by three consecutive birdies beginning at the sixth.
Lee Westwood, ranked third in the world, shot a 70 -- the same score posted by current British Open champion Darren Clarke.
Clarke will defend his title this month at the Royal Lytham and St. Anne's course.
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