Lee Westwood shot a career-best 12-under 60 Thursday to lead the inaugural Thailand Golf Championship by five strokes over John Daly.
The Englishman reached the turn in 29 and finished his first round with 10 birdies and an eagle for a course record at the Amata Spring Country Club.
“I’ve never shot a 60 before,” Westwood said. “A couple of 61s in Germany. Billy (Foster, Westwood’s caddie) said my 62 two weeks ago at the Nedbank (Challenge) was as good a round as he’s ever seen but he said today was better.”
After going 7 under through six holes, Westwood said he had set his sights on a round of 59.
“It was in my mind to get to 13 under but it wasn’t to be,” he said. “I gave myself a few chances. Left one short on the hole on 11 and one short on 14. Had a good chance on 16 as well.
“I don’t think you can be disappointed with a 60. I have to be a fairly harsh critic of myself to walk away disappointed.”
Daly, who shot a 65, had a perfect view of Westwood’s round as he was in the group behind.
“That was just one hell of a round,” Daly said. “I would have never ever dreamed that I would shoot a 7 under let alone a 12 under. My hat that I’m not wearing is off to him because that was just an awesome round of golf he played.”
Just over a month after he stormed off the course during the first round of the Australian Open, the 45-year-old Daly had five birdies and an eagle on the par-5 11th.
“It was solid,” he said. “I thought 7 under might be a low round, but what Lee did today was incredible.”
Gregory Bourdy of France and Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand after 68s in the season-ending tournament on the Asian Tour.
Masters champion Charl Schwartzel of South Africa had four birdies and a bogey on his last hole to finish with a 68 and join a group of 11 players on 3 under.