They say the early bird catches the worm but Tom Whitehouse was looking forward to a lie-in this morning.

The Birmingham golfer admitted he could not sleep worrying about being the first starter in the first round of the EnterCard Scandinavian Masters yesterday.

But Whitehouse could relax after carding a four-under-par 68 to lie just one shot behind the early pacesetters in the £1.1 million event at Barseback.

Whitehouse, who won a £23,000 Audi TT for an eagle two on the ninth in last week's Deutsche Bank Players' Championship in Hamburg, was in the first group out at 7:30am local time and recovered from a bogey at the tenth, his opening hole, to card six birdies.

"It's nice to get off to a good start for a change but it wasn't so nice getting up at 4am!" said Whitehouse, who tees off today at 12.30. "I just couldn't sleep properly worrying about missing the alarm."

The 26-year-old won the tour qualifying school last year and is determined to avoid an immediate return. He currently lies 98th on the Order of Merit with the top 115 retaining their playing privileges for next season.

"Everyone is thinking about how much they need to keep their cards but I'm trying to set myself something a bit higher to take the focus away from it," he added.

"I'd love to finish in the top 60 and qualify for the Volvo Masters and I think I'm capable of playing at that level."

England's Benn Barham claimed a share of the lead, despite having to play with a borrowed set of clubs.

Barham's clubs failed to arrive following a flight from London on Tuesday and meant the 30-year-old from Kent was unable to even practice at Barseback.

But that could prove to be a blessing in disguise after a round of 67, five-under-par, elevated Barham to the top of the leaderboard alongside Scotland's Marc Warren and Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts.

"I'm not sure what to do now if my clubs do turn up," admitted Barham, who also had to borrow a pair of shoes adorned with the Swedish flag.

"I was determined not to use it as an excuse and maybe everything took my mind off my game and I could just go out and play and see what happens."

Wolverhampton's Peter Baker had two birdies and three bogeys in a 73 but fellow Midlanders David Park, from Hereford, and Robert Rock, from Lichfield, are two shots further adrift.