Perth – American Peter Uihlein carded a seven-under 65 to lead after the first round of the European and Asian Tour co-sanctioned Perth International at Lake Karrinyup on Thursday.
Uihlein battled windy afternoon conditions to post six birdies and an eagle in his opening round to lead Frenchman Romain Wattel and India’s Shiv Kapur.
“Playing out here, it’s always a treat and it’s one of my favourite courses,” said Uihlein of the Alister Mackenzie-designed course.
“It’s always a treat when you get to play them. I think that’s why I enjoy it so much because it’s just a fabulous golf course. It’s well-designed and it’s a challenge and it’s fun.”
He made birdies at the 3rd, 4th and 7th holes before a chip in eagle at the 9th hole ignited his round.
“It was nice to hole one out, it was good,” Uihlein said.
“I heard it hit the flag before people kind of stood up and started applauding. It’s always cool to see the reaction, one of those cool moments.”
Kapur battled through with a shoulder injury that almost ruled him out of the tournament to shoot a six-under 66 with Wattel.
“I was really struggling on the driving range this morning with my shoulder, and the chiropractor here did a great job to get me fit to play, and popped a couple of pills and went out there,” said Kapur.
“It got better as I warmed up, but the first few shots that I hit, I couldn’t really hold the club at the top of my backswing. It seemed to get better.”
Wattel returned to Australia this year as a professional after playing previously as an amateur.
“I came here, I think eight years ago for the Australian Amateur in Adelaide, and I got a very good picture of Australia, so I thought that would be a good idea to come back,” Wattel said.
“But all the time, the tournaments in Australia were not very good on my schedule, and this time, after Malaysia, it was perfect. So I thought, that’s the one.”
Sitting outright fourth after the opening 18 holes was Australian Rhein Gibson who fired five-under 67.
South Africa’s world No 21 Louis Oosthuizen finished with a two-under 70 after starting strongly with three birdies in his first six holes before fading.
Last year’s winner Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen opened with a one-under 71.
Leading first-round scores on Thursday in the European Tour and Asian Tour co-sanctioned Perth International at the par-72 Lake Karrinyup course in Perth (Australia unless stated):
65 – Peter Uihlein (USA)
66 – Romain Wattel (FRA), Shiv Kapur (IND)
67 – Rhein Gibson
68 – Brett Rumford, Cormac Sharvin (IRL), Scott Arnold, Anthony Houston, Todd Sinnott, Nick Cullen, Magnus A Carlsson (SWE), Richard Lee (CAN)
69 – Ashley Hall, Peter Senior, Steven Jeffress, Jason Scrivener, Nino Bertasio (ITA), David Drysdale (SCO), Marcus Fraser, Michael Sim, Mardan Mamat (SIN), Wade Ormsby
70 – Alexander Levy (FRA), Louis Oosthuizen (RSA), Scott Strange, Mathew Goggin, Daniel Nisbet, Andrew Johnston (ENG), Robert Dinwiddie (ENG), Benjamin Hebert (FRA), Brad Kennedy, Masahiro Kawamura (JPN)