Deyen Lawson leads the GC Celebrity Pro-Am at Lakelands Golf Club after firing 8-under 64 in the morning field.

Deyen LawsonThe European Tour player who calls the Gold Coast home, recorded eight birdies and an eagle on 16 to take the clubhouse lead in mixed conditions.

“I played steady for the first 11 holes and then I had 7-under on the last seven holes which turned it around a bit,” said Lawson.

“I hit 3-wood from about 230 feet to about three feet and then birdied my last hole as well so I was pretty happy with the finish.”

With heavy rain falling in Queensland over the past week, a clear day was welcome at Lakelands with increasing winds helping to dry out the course.

“The weather held out this morning which was good and dried out the course so it’s playing really good. The greens are rolling well and it’s a nice course,” added Lawson.

Back in Australia between events overseas, Lawson is taking advantage of time at home to recuperate before returning to the European Tour for the Trophee Hassan II tournament in Morocco, but has high hopes of adding a Ladbrokes Pro-Am Series victory to his resume.

“I had a week off not long ago so I’ve just gotten back into practice now over the last week,” Lawson continued.

“There’s still three or so more weeks before I head away to Morocco so it’s just good to be home, really. I haven’t spent much time at home recently so it’s nice and relaxing.

“Any event you can play at home and win is always good. It would be very nice before I head away again.”

Playing in support of Ashton’s Place would put even more meaning behind a victory for Lawson, who praised host and PGA Life Member Wayne Grady for the putting the tournament together.

“Obviously all of the things Wayne Grady and his team do to support charities like Ashton’s Place is amazing,” said Lawson.

“For us golf pros we’re just going out and doing what we love so to even be a part of it and help out here and there is fantastic. It’s a great cause and it’s great to see all of the pros and amateurs supporting it.”

After spending time away from the sport in recent weeks due to work commitments, Michael Wright was pleased with his 6-under 66 score in round one to see him sit second on the leaderboard.

“I haven’t played much golf for the last three weeks,” said Wright.

“I’m a school teacher so I’ve been teaching every day. Maybe it’s a good thing for me, practice and no playing, so I was happy for a part-time golfer to come up with 6-under today.”

“Early on the wind was a little bit lower which helped me get a few birdies under my belt. I started off really good then I had a really ordinary patch through the middle when I missed a few greens but I kept the momentum going and finished off with a couple of birdies at the end. All in all it was a good day.”

Just weeks out from his Japan Tour season start, Matthew Griffin has displayed solid form recording a score of 5-under the card to sit in third place.

A total of eight players sit in fourth including Peter Senior, Daniel Nisbet, Jake Higginbottom, Jason Norris and Lakelands Golf Club course record-holder Michael Sim.

Round two of the Ladbrokes Pro-Am Series’ GC Celebrity Pro-Am begins at 7:00am on Friday morning.