(Reuters) - Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen and Australian qualifier John Wade set alight Lake Karrinyup on Thursday, blasting matching course records of eight-under-par 64 to share the opening round lead at the Perth International.
Wade had to birdie the last three holes of Monday qualifying to secure his place in the PGA Tour of Australasia and European Tour co-sanctioned tournament and the 46-year-old capitalized on a flying start to soar to the top.
The Australian, having begun his round on the 10th, sunk four birdies in his first five holes followed by an eagle on the long 15th.
“It feels a bit weird actually,” conceded Wade whose only professional victory came on the Challenge Tour in 2006. “I certainly haven’t been top of the leaderboard for a hell of a long time.
“This is ridiculous really. I didn’t know what to expect.
“I just was proud that I didn’t let it go after I was six under, which is really annoying for most guys. And someone in my situation, you’re probably half expecting that to happen.”
Olesen wielded a hot putter in his bogey-free round studded with eight birdies as the 24-yer-old Dane began his campaign for a second European Tour title since his first in Sicily two years ago.
“I played really, really well the front nine especially,” said Olesen. “The back nine I hit a couple bad drives, but got a little bit lucky and got away with them.
“My short game was amazing out there. My chipping, bunker shots were really, really good, so I’m very pleased with the round,” said the golfer whose progress was halted by a freak accident earlier this year.
“Start of the year I actually fell off a camel in the desert and pulled my muscle there, so took a couple months before I was ready to play.
Australian Michael Slim was two shots behind, along with the trio of Peter Whiteford, Sihwan Kim and Tom Lewis striving to keep their European Tour card alive.
Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly