Albatross lifts Backstrom Daly struggles with injury


European TourMOSCOW -- Joakim Backstrom had an albatross in a 7-under 65 Thursday to share a four-way lead after the opening round of the Russian Open. John Daly struggled with a hand injury to shoot a 70.
Backstrom is tied with David Carter of England, Roope Kakko of Finland and Fredrik Henge of Sweden. Backstrom, also of Sweden, is looking for his second European Tour title.
Daly has recently been struggling with his form, missing the cut at the BMW International Open in June and at the British Open last Friday.
He birdied three of his final four holes Thursday, but still felt the effects of a right hand injury.
Its hurting pretty bad, Daly said. But luckily the ground here is soft so I can get through the ball. That wasnt possible last week. If the course had been hard this week, I probably wouldnt have been able to play.
The 42-year-old American opened with two bogeys, followed by a birdie. Another bogey and a birdie left him 1 over at the turn.
It could have been really bad, he said. I probably hit two of the worst iron shots that I have ever hit on Tour. I struggled a little bit, but managed to get it to 2 under. I think its the best that I could have scored.
The 30-year-old Backstrom, who started on the back nine, had two birdies before he holed the par-5 15th with his second shot from 233 yards.
I hit it well and it pitched on the green and then disappeared, he said. I walked up to the green and it (ball) was there in the hole.
It was a great start -- 5 under after six holes which was great.
Former top-ranked Russian tennis player Yevgeny Kafelnikov and NHL forward Alex Kovalev, who received wild cards from the organizers, are last at 17 over and 27 over, respectively.
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