Michael Hoey fired a course record eight-under-par 64 to lead by one shot in the opening round of the inaugural True Thailand Classic presented by Black Mountain. The Northern Irishman was relaxed in the heat of battle thanks to the serene surroundings at the Black Mountain Golf Club as he posted a bogey-free card with eight birdies.
Reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion David Lipsky underlined his credentials by firing a 65 to trail Hoey by one shot at the inaugural US$2 million event.
Chinese Taipei’s Hung Chien-yao was in relaxed mood as well, firing a 65 to share second place with Lipsky and Spaniard Carlos Pigem.
Hoey, a five-time European Tour winner, took advantage of the early benign morning conditions to kick-start off his campaign promisingly.
“We had 10 or 11 holes with not much wind, which was an advantage teeing off early,” said Hoey. No bogeys, no fives on the card, and a course record is a nice start. I’m swinging the club nicely so hopefully I’ll put three more good rounds together and see what happens.”
Lipsky, who was tied for 42nd at the season-opening Asian Tour event in Malaysia last week, was happy to bounce back with an assured performance, befitting of his status as Asia’s number one in 2014.
“I had a bad finish to the week in Malaysia but each and every week, I’ve been getting better and this is the first stretch of the year and my game is still in pretty good shape. It’s always work in progress and I’m trying to get better all the time,” said Lipsky.
Leading First Round Scores:
64 – Michael HOEY (NIR).
65 – HUNG Chien-yao (TPE), Carlos PIGEM (ESP), David LIPSKY (USA).
66 – Shiv KAPUR (IND).
67 – Scott HEND (AUS), Matt FORD (ENG), Alex NOREN (SWE), Pariya JUNHASAVASDIKUL (THA), Renato PARATORE (ITA), Miguel JIMENEZ (ESP), Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA), Prayad MARKSAENG (THA).
68 – Rattanon WANNASRICHAN (THA), Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA), Paul PETERSON (USA), Masahiro KAWAMURA (JPN), Jeunghun WANG (KOR), Richard T. LEE (CAN).
69 – Johan CARLSSON (SWE), Matthew BALDWIN (ENG), Lionel WEBER (FRA), Thomas BJORN (DEN), Thongchai JAIDEE (THA), Anirban LAHIRI (IND), Brett RUMFORD (AUS), Adrian OTAEGUI (ESP), Marcus FRASER (AUS), Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN), Kieran PRATT (AUS), Chris