By Brian Keogh
Gary Murphy got hot in Moscow with as he opened with a bogey free 67 in the Russian Open.
The Kilkenny cat, 34 grabbed five birdies in a solid first round to share third place behind Swede Christian Nilsson.
Dubliner Peter Lawrie was the next best of the Irish after a one-under par 71 at Le Meridien Moscow Country Club.
But it was a nightmare day for Waterville's David Higgins as he crashed to a nine-over par 81.
Nilsson, 28, produced seven birdies in a super 65 to lead by a shot from Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Gonnet.
Scot Richie Ramsay opened with two-under-par 70 on his professional debut.