Luiten leads in Austria as European Tour resumes


ATZENBRUGG, Austria — The European Tour restarted Thursday after a four-month break because of the coronavirus outbreak with the first round of the Austrian Open, where former winner Joost Luiten shot a 7-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead.

The Dutch golfer had been in good form before the suspension of the season in March and he picked up where he left off, starting and finishing his round with birdies and making eight of them in total.

Luiten won the event in 2013 and hasn’t finished outside of the top 10 in his last four starts at the Diamond Country Club outside Vienna.

Scottish players Marc Warren and Craig Howie were tied for second after shooting 66s at the dual-ranked European Tour and European Challenge Tour event.

All players, caddies and other personnel on site were tested for COVID-19 ahead of the tournament and will follow public health guidelines, including social distancing.

The Austrian Open will be followed by the Euram Bank Open, also held in Austria, before a six-week “UK Swing.”

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