Sweden's Sebastian Soderberg shines in first round in Sicily

Sebastian Soderberg holds a two-shot lead at the Rocco Forte Open. Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Sweden's Sebastian Soderberg fired the lowest round of his career to set a daunting clubhouse target on day one of the Rocco Forte Open in Sicily.

Playing in just his 15th European Tour event, after gaining his card via the qualifying school last year, Soderberg recorded eight birdies and an eagle in a flawless 10-under-par 61 at Verdura Golf Club.

The 26-year-old raced to the turn in just 30 strokes with birdies on the second, fourth, sixth and eighth and an eagle on the ninth, before birdies on the 10th and 11th raised the prospect of an historic sub-60 round.

Five pars in succession put paid to that, but the world No. 499 finished in style with birdies on the 17th and 18th to enjoy a two-shot lead over Spain's Alvaro Quiros, whose 63 included a hole-in-one on the 13th.

Quiros holed out with a seven iron from 191 yards on what was just his third hole of the day, play starting from the first and 11th on the composite layout made up of holes from the venue's two courses.

A bogey on the 14th proved to be the Spaniard's only dropped shot of the day and he added seven birdies to carry on from where he left off after a closing 65 in Portugal last week.

After winning two big events on the European Tour in 2011, both in Dubai, Quiros was ranked 21st in the world, but has gradually slipped to his current position of 703rd and missed 15 cuts in 23 events last season.

England's Lee Slattery was a shot behind Quiros after carding eight birdies and one bogey in his 64, with Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn a shot further back following a flawless 65.