Kristoffer Reitan and Miguel Tabuena carded opening rounds of 65 to share the lead after day one of the ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth.
The innovative event is in its third consecutive year on the Race to Dubai, with 54 holes of traditional stroke play across the first three days before the top 24 players compete in a six-hole knockout match play format in the fourth and final round.
Out in the first group of the day off the tenth, Tabuena made eight birdies in his opening nine holes to tie a European Tour record and added another gain on the first before two bogeys moved him to seven under par at Lake Karrinyup Country Club.
Reitan came through all three stages of Qualifying School as an amateur last year and the Norwegian carded eight birdies and a bogey to join Tabuena at the summit in just his fifth event since turning professional.
Both men recorded their lowest rounds on the European Tour so far to sit two shots ahead of New Zealander Benjamin Campbell and England’s Richard McEvoy.
Nick Flanagan and Brad Kennedy are the leading Australians at four under par, alongside India’s SSP Chawrasia, Anton Karlsson of Sweden, Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey and Kiwi Ryan Fox.
“I’m really happy with that round. Played some good golf tee to green and holed some putts as well.
“Throughout the last year I qualified for the U.S. Open and qualified for the European Tour through Q-School, so it’s something maybe with the qualifying mindset that I enjoy. I hope that can work to my advantage this week.
“I’m enjoying (my rookie season). I’m just trying to learn every week. Even if I play really bad I’m trying to learn something, and if I play well, it might be because I’ve learned something. So, I’m just trying to learn as much as I can from every tournament and try to unlock my best golf”
“Shooting seven under on Thursday is not a bad score. My alarm was 3:30 in the morning, but it paid off and I’m pretty happy with my position. I love coming to Perth and it feels like home. The weather’s similar, the courses are similar, and it’s great to be back.
“Actually, nothing much (was going through my head). I tried to keep it in the back of my head, but it caught up to me on the third and fourth hole. That was like I started to force some stuff, which I shouldn’t have, and it cost me. I can’t force stuff tomorrow, I can’t play too aggressive and I’ve just got to make my putting work.
“A win? Oh, my gosh, it would mean everything. To play full time on the European Tour is a goal for me.”
“Very pleased. Played some solid golf. Two dropped shots on 16 and 17, but apart from that, seven birdies, so very pleased.
“You’ve just got to keep plugging away, try and get up there on the leaderboard and try to get into that top five, top 10, and then hopefully on Saturday that gives you an even better chance of being in the top 24. But also if you’re in the top 8 I think you get a bye for the first round of match play, so that’s a bonus as well.
“I love it here. I’ve been here quite a few times now, I think this is my fourth or fifth trip to Karrinyup. It really suits my eye, love the golf course, which is why I come back year after year.”
Round one scores
65 K Reitan (Nor), M Tabuena (Phi),
67 B Campbell (Nzl), R McEvoy (Eng),
68 B Kennedy (Aus), S Chawrasia (Ind), A Karlsson (Swe), N Flanagan (Aus), R Fox (Nzl), M Hoey (Nir),
69 D Lawson (Aus), D Gale (Aus), G Bourdy (Fra), M Griffin (Aus), M Jager (Aus),
70 D Boonma (Tha), M Lee (Aus), T Pieters (Bel), J Scrivener (Aus), P Pittayarat (Tha), R Macintyre (Sco), Y Chang (Kor), A Otaegui (Esp), J Nitties (Aus), A Quayle (Aus), M Fraser (Aus), S Jeffress (Aus), S Vincent (Zim), T Pilkadaris (Aus), D Law (Sco), A Martin (Aus), J Zunic (Aus), J Wang (Kor), G Paddison (Nzl), P Meesawat (Tha),
71 A Sandhu (Ind), T Murray (Eng), B Henson (USA), C Shinkwin (Eng), J Harding (RSA), T Aiken (RSA), C Sordet (Fra), M Wright (Aus), M Brown (Nzl), D Bransdon (Aus), P Langfors (Swe), A Connelly (Can), J Janewattananond (Tha), B Ritthammer (Ger), H Endycott (Aus), R Chisnall (Nzl), J McLeod (Aus), L Johnston (Sco),
72 E Kofstad (Nor), J Marchesani (Aus), B Evans (Eng), N Cullen (Aus), A Da Silva (Bra), S Kim (USA), M Shin (USA), M Orrin (Eng), N O’Hern (Aus), Z Murray (Aus), D Papadatos (Aus), P Lonard (Aus), S Chan (Tpe), C O’Reilly (Aus), C John (Aus), D Beck (Aus), G Migliozzi (Ita), D Nisbet (Aus), A Truslow (USA), K Johannessen (Nor), R Allenby (Aus), S Hawkes (Aus),
73 M Manassero (Ita), D Kataoka (Jpn), S Soderberg (Swe), S Manley (Wal), S Gregory (Eng), N Fung (Mas), K Koivu (Fin), P Dunne (Irl), A Saddier (Fra), A Bland (Aus), S Leaney (Aus), M Choi (Kor), C Wood (Aus), M Nixon (Eng), A Pike (Aus), M Long (Nzl), R Green (Aus), S Kapur (Ind), C Syme (Sco), D Fox (Aus), M Antcliff (Aus), K Joshi (Ind), P Fowler (Aus), P Figueiredo (Por), H Leon (Chi), J Veerman (USA), M Hendry (Nzl), J Campillo (Esp), F Bergamaschi (Ita), M McCardle (Aus), G Green (Mas), N Voke (Nzl), W Ormsby (Aus), D Borda (Esp), T Lewis (Eng), C S (Ind), D Jordan (Aus),
74 D Perry (Aus), G Moynihan (Irl), A Dodt (Aus), J Choi (Kor), O Wilson (Eng), A Chesters (Eng), K Kitayama (USA), L De Jager (RSA), N Colsaerts (Bel), V Madappa (Ind), S Hend (Aus), J Younger (Aus), H Park (Kor), D Gavins (Eng), L Herbert (Aus), Y Ikeda (Jpn), M Millar (Aus), B Eccles (Aus), G Forrest (Sco), C Crawford (Aus),
75 R Gouveia (Por), J Morrison (Eng), S Yongcharoenchai (Tha), M Schmitt (Ger), D Smail (Nzl), P Saksansin (Tha), P O’Malley (Aus), J Norris (Aus), I Cantero Gutierrez (Esp), J Wilson (Aus),
76 M Kawamura (Jpn), J Girrbach (Sui), D Drysdale (Sco), G Ogilvy (Aus), B Proverbs (Aus), M Stieger (Aus),
77 R Ramsay (Sco), J Todd (USA), J Felton (Aus), E Ferguson (Sco), N Lemke (Swe),
78 P Peterson (USA), M Kokocinski (Swe), R Wannasrichan (Tha),