(Reuters) - American John Catlin fired a six-under-par 66 to share a one-shot lead with qualifying school graduate Lee Sung-ho of South Korea in the opening round of the Indonesian Masters on Thursday.
Unfazed by playing alongside seasoned professionals like Swede Henrik Stenson and India’s Anirban Lahiri, Catlin showed the sparkling form that led him to three Asian Tour titles this season.
The 28-year-old carded seven birdies and a bogey to set the pace in the morning session at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club.
“Henrik’s a really nice guy and I’ve known Anirban for about four years,” Catlin said. “It was nice to play with them.
“That definitely helped when you’re going out there and trying to make birdies. When you see other guys making birdies, that kind of pushes you. So that was more of how I was doing it today.”
Lee, who is currently 95th on the Order of Merit and needs a huge lift this weekend to save his Asian Tour card, sank eight birdies for his round of 66 at the season-ending event.
“I putted well and hit all my tee shots very well. It was very hot and I’m going to take it step-by–step as the round progresses,” Lee said.
“I got my card from Qualifying school in January and it would mean a lot to me if I can continue to keep it with a solid performance this week.”
World number two Justin Rose, who went on a wire-to-wire cruise to a convincing win last year, was five-under after 14 holes when play was suspended due to lightning threats.
Stenson, ranked 27th in the world, signed for a 67 to finish one shot behind the leaders in a five-strong group.
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Martyn Herman