RICHARD Bland claimed an early lead in the Nordea Masters after posting an opening round score of five-under-par in Sweden.

The Stoneham player, who is chasing a first ever European Tour victory, shot 67 at the Bro Hof Slott Golf Club this morning to move to the head of the field.

Fellow Hampshire pro Sam Hutsby finished on a score of three-over. The pair have been drawn together for the first time, with Alastair Forsyth also in their group for the opening two days.