Andrew Martin of Australia shot an opening 6-under 66 to top a congested leaderboard at the US$300,000 Asia-Pacific Classic on Thursday.
The 33-year-old had a commendable front nine, carding four birdies against a lone bogey before turning in 32. Martin scored two more birdies before signing for a 66 for a one-shot lead at the St Andrews Golf Club in Henan, China.
Martin, as well as, the leading golfers after the first round, took advantage of the calm weather conditions and soft greens to card low scores.
"The round was out there for the taking actually. It wasn’t windy and the greens were quite soft. I think I’m pretty happy with myself, on how I played the course. I hit some bad shots, but I managed to get away with them. So overall, yes, I’m very happy with my opening round," said Martin.
"There wasn’t a particular that stood out for me. I played solidly the whole day and hit plenty of fairways and greens. I was hitting it quite close early in my round. In my back-9, I drove a few shots into the rough which made it a little bit harder. But overall, I thought I had quite a solid round.
"The calm conditions helped, and the soft greens allowed me to attack the pin, but you still have to hit it well and hole the putts.
"I’m going to stick to my game plan. I’m not overly long compared to the other guys. I’m going to rest, as it is getting a bit humid here. After a visit to the physio, I’ll be heading back and relax for the afternoon."
Victorian Jack Wilson is one shot further back following his opening round of 5-under 67 alongside fellow Victorian Josh Younger.
"I was still adjusting to being in a new country before the start of the round, so it was good to get things going. I birdied the par-five and made a good save on hole four. I holed out for eagle on six and from then on, things were pretty easy. I birdied 10. I hit it five feet on 12, six feet on 13, 10 feet on 14 but didn’t make any of them. I also missed a short putt on 15. It was a bit deflating, but it’s good to get a good number on the board," said Wilson
"It was very easy out there on the golf course. But, you still got to hit it well. Ball striking has always been my strength and if I can get my putter working, then it should be a good week.
"My decision making has been good today. I didn’t attack flags when I was out of position and I attacked the flag when I was in good positions. I kept myself level-headed on most parts."
New Zealand's Gareth Paddison is the next best placed Australasian a shot further back at 4-under 68.
For round one scores, visit the Asian Tour.
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