Denmark’s Thorbjørn Olesen (pictured by Getty Images) and Australian qualifier John Wade fired matching course record rounds of 64 at Lake Karrinyup to share the first round lead at the ISPS HANDA Perth International.
The 46 year old Wade, who spent a couple of seasons on The European Tour after twice coming through Qualifying School in the late nineties, capitalised on a flying start to post a flawless round, which was matched late in the day by the similarly bogey-free Olesen.
Wade only secured his place in the tournament by birdieing the last three holes of Monday qualifying, and continued with a scintillating start that saw four birdies in his first five holes followed by an eagle at the long 15th having begun his round on the tenth.
After turning in 30 Wade, whose only professional victory came on the Challenge Tour in 2006, picked up further shots from six feet at the third and 12 feet at the seventh.
Olesen, who at 64th on The Race to Dubai is looking to move into the top 60 ahead of next month’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, won his only European Tour title in Sicily two years ago, but the 24 year old has long been touted as a future star of the game and reinforced that promise with eight birdies in a fine putting display.
Only the top 111 players on The Race to Dubai at close of play on Sunday will retain their playing privileges for 2015, 104th-placed Tom Lewis, 138th-placed Sihwan Kim and 149th-ranked Peter Whiteford all enhanced their chances with rounds of 66.
Kim and Whiteford need a top-two finish to avoid a trip to Qualifying School, while Lewis should be safe barring an unlikely set of results.
The man currently in the firing line, 111th-placed Matthew Nixon posted a two under 70, while Major Champions Charl Schwartzel and Jason Dufner carded rounds of 68 and 70 respectively, with the South African chipping in on the ninth.
“I played really, really well the front nine especially. 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.
“It’s been a few years since I won. Especially the last six months I feel like I’ve played some good golf and just haven’t been able to put the rounds together, so it’s been a dry period. It would be really, really nice to get some confidence back, and to get a win would be amazing.
“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.”
“It feels a bit weird actually. I certainly haven’t been top of the leaderboard for a hell of a long time.
“I just got a fast start and didn’t really leave any out there. I got a couple of up and downs in which helps your round, definitely.
“It’s been an unknown quantity at the moment, to be honest. I’ve played bits and pieces – I played the British Open last year, which in a way I called on that a little bit today. I played a British Open at Muirfield with no golf, and that’s pretty scary. I got through qualifying and had to really try to man up in front of a pretty intense environment.
“So I felt today at least, even though it was a long time ago, it was over 12 months ago, you can draw on some of that stuff at my age. That gets you through days like today when you’re playing okay.”
ROUND ONE GOLF SCORES
64 T Olesen (Den) , J Wade (Aus) ,
66 T Lewis (Eng) , M Sim (Aus) , P Whiteford (Sco) , S Kim (Kor) ,
67 D Drysdale (Sco) , M Foster (Eng) , J Quesne (Fra) , J Scrivener (Aus) , M Griffin (Aus) , B Rumford (Aus) , M Carlsson (Swe) ,
68 R Bland (Eng) , R Green (Aus) , A Brown (Aus) , R Gonzalez (Arg) , J Higginbottom (Aus) , M Fraser (Aus) , C Schwartzel (RSA) , D Huizing (Ned) , S Dartnall (Aus) , C Rice (Aus) , O Goss (Aus) ,
69 S Kjeldsen (Den) , P Uihlein (USA) , J Nitties (Aus) , S Jamieson (Sco) , D Bransdon (Aus) , R Fox (Nzl) , M Long (Nzl) , B Ninyette (Aus) , G Bourdy (Fra) , G Stal (Fra) , J Parry (Eng) , J Younger (Aus) , J Doherty (Sco) ,
70 M Pearce (Nzl) , D McGrane (Irl) , E Molinari (Ita) , G Chalmers (Aus) , J Dufner (USA) , R Jacquelin (Fra) , P Spargo (Aus) , C Campbell (Aus) , J McLeary (Sco) , A Otaegui (Esp) , R Gibson (Aus) , R Santos (Por) , A Wall (Eng) , M Nixon (Eng) , D McKenzie (Aus) ,
71 N Elvira (Esp) , N Cullen (Aus) , N Gillespie (Nzl) , L Bjerregaard (Den) , G Maybin (Nir) , B Campbell (Nzl) , P Fowler (Aus) , O Fisher (Eng) , V Dubuisson (Fra) , M McCardle (Aus) , A Pavan (Ita) , A Kaleka (Fra) , C Del Moral (Esp) , J Norris (Aus) , J Knutzon (USA) , M Korhonen (Fin) , M Wright (Aus) , A Townsend (Aus) , R Haller (Aus) , N Green (Aus) , P Cooke (Aus) , D Nisbet (Aus) , J Hansen (Den) , M Jager (Aus) ,
72 S Strange (Aus) , R Blizard (Aus) , S Laycock (Aus) , J Jeong (Kor) , S Jones (Aus) , S Houston (Aus) , J Campillo (Esp) , S Wakefield (Eng) , J Morrison (Eng) , W Ormsby (Aus) , J Heath (Eng) , P O’Malley (Aus) , A Martin (Aus) , M Kieffer (Ger) , J Geary (Nzl) , S Leaney (Aus) , B Paolini (USA) , F Andersson Hed (Swe) , D Klein (Ger) , R Kakko (Fin) , D Im (USA) , B Macpherson (Aus) , K Phelan (Irl) , S Hansen (Den) ,
73 A Forsyth (Sco) , M Millar (Aus) , V Riu (Fra) , S Manley (Wal) , A Hartø (Den) , A Summers (Aus) , C Lee (Sco) , G Ogilvy (Aus) , D Willett (Eng) , N Holman (Aus) , L McKechnie (Aus) , A Stolz (Aus) , S Bowditch (Aus) ,
74 A Stephens (Aus) , R Lee (Nzl) , G Havret (Fra) , J Wilson (Aus) , S Webster (Eng) , S Jeffress (Aus) , A Gee (Eng) , M Perry (Aus) , C Doak (Sco) , C Parry (Aus) ,
75 P Lawrie (Irl) , R Lynch (Aus) , D Popovic (Aus) , M Ballard (Aus) , J Walters (RSA) ,
76 J Lara (Esp) , A Hall (Aus) , M Giles (Aus) , E De La Riva (Esp) , L Slattery (Eng) , L Deagan (Aus) , D McKendrick (Aus) ,
77 G Paddison (Nzl) , A Saddier (Fra) , C O’Reilly (Aus) , D Horsey (Eng) , R Kulacz (Aus) , M Brown (Nzl) ,
78 L Zhiqun (Sin) ,
79 T Pieters (Bel) ,
80 T Bond (Aus) ,
Source: European Tour