Baraka Leads in Russia


European TourMOSCOW, Russia -- Kariem Baraka fired a 9-under-par 63 on Thursday to take the lead after the opening round of the Russian Open. Martin Wiegele followed at 7-under-par 65.
Mikael Lundberg, Matthew King, Matthew Cort and Euan Little shared third place at 5-under-par 67.
Baraka played the back side first at Le Meridian Moscow Country Club and rocketed out of the gate with birdies on each of his first four holes. He then birdied the par-5 15th and added a birdie at the par-5 17th to make the turn at minus-6.
'That really got me going,' said Baraka, the 1998 Italian Amateur champion. 'I just played really, really well, it's as simple as that. I had a couple of bad shots, well not bad shots but shots that didn't turn out the way I wanted them to. But of course I am happy with my start, but there is a long way to go.'
The 26-year-old from Germany kept on rolling on the front side with a birdie at the par-5 second. Baraka continued his dominance on the par-5s with a a birdie at the fifth and made it two in a row with a birdie at the par-4 sixth to hold the first-round lead.
Wiegele, who lost this event last year to Marcus Fraser in a playoff, also started on the 10th and he birdied his first hole. Wiegele picked up another birdie at the 12th, but fell back to even-par with a double bogey at the par-4 13th.
The Austrian added a pair of birdies and a bogey over his next five holes to make the turn at 1 under. Wiegele caught fire on the front nine, however, with an eagle at the par-5 second and a birdie at the third.
Wiegele then birdied three in a row starting at the par-4 sixth to finish within two of the lead.
'I remembered many of the shots I played and the good thoughts that I had last year,' said Wiegele. 'I love this course as well and the way that you have to play it.'
Sven Struver, Sam Walker, David Griffiths, Kyron Sullivan, Alvaro Salto, Marc Pendaries, Graeme Storm, Henrik Nystrom, Philip Archer and Stuart Davis are tied for seventh place at 4-under-par 68.
Andrew Coltart was one shot further back in a group at 3-under-par 69 that featured Jarmo Sandelin.
Related Link:
  • Leaderboard - BMW Russian Open
  • Full Coverage - BMW Russian Open