BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) — Scott Strange shot a 7-under 65 for a two-stroke lead in the first round of the Volvo Masters of Asia on Thursday.
The Australian, a two-time winner on the Asian Tour, had eight birdies and one bogey at the 7,082-yard Thai Country Club to lead both Frankie Minoza and Prayad Marksaeng.
“I played pretty good all day, hit a lot of fairways and greens,” Strange said. “The rough is lower than normal but the greens are quick enough and hard enough to pose a problem. You can’t really stop a wedge shot. It’s running out 15 or 20 meters.”
Simon Griffiths, Lee Sung and Scott Hend were tied for fourth at 68.
Defending champion Thongchai Jaidee shot 70, while Chapchai Nirat was at 71. Nirat must win to have a chance of overtaking Liang Wen-chong, who shot 72.
Minoza, who didn’t play a practice round, had six birdies in his 67.
“This is my eighth tournament in a row, which is a lot for a 48-year-old,” Minoza said. “I like this course but I am tired. I was struggling on the back nine but my chipping and putting helped me through. I only had 23 putts. I am really happy with that.”
Marksaeng said he was confident he could win the tournament.
“There has not been much attention on me as people have been talking about Thongchai and Chapchai. I am just concentrating on my game,” he said. “That is my approach every week.”