Australia’s Robert Allenby shot an 8-under 63 on Thursday to take a one-stroke lead over Venezuela’s Jhonattan Vegas after the first round of the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic, the second-year event sanctioned by the PGA Tour and Asian Tour.
Allenby birdied four of the first six holes and three of the last four in his bogey-free round at The Mines Resort and Golf Club, where a field of 48 players is taking part.
CIMB ASIA PACIFIC CLASSIC
The second annual CIMB Asia Pacific Classic features a 48-man field made up of players from the PGA Tour and Asian Tour.
“I got away with a nice par on the 18th. I made lots of nice putts and hit the ball really well all day,” Allenby said. “I had just one wayward tee shot at the last, but I made a good par to save at the last. Overall, I’m happy with my golf. I’ve been playing well for a while, but haven’t really put the scores on the board.”
Vegas birdied the final four holes.
“I had a really good round and hit the ball well,” said Vegas, the PGA Tour rookie who won the Bob Hope Classic in January. “I felt like I hit a lot of good putts as well. Hopefully, I can keep the momentum going for the next three days.”
Sweden’s Fredrik Jacobson opened with a 65, and Americans Bo Van Pelt, Cameron Tringale and Jimmy Walker were another stroke back.
Mark Wilson, Stewart Cink, Jeff Overton, Scott Stallings and John Senden were four strokes back at 67.
Defending champion Ben Crane shot a 69.
The winner will receive $1.3 million from the $6.1 million purse.
Allenby, 40, was 4 under after just six holes in an excellent start to proceedings and then made further birdies on the 11th and 15th, 16th and 17th in a strong finish.
Vegas had a mixed start as he went birdie-bogey-birdie on the third, fourth and fifth holes but picked up shots on the eighth and 11th before ending on a high with a run of four birdies on his last four holes.
Australian John Senden was joined on 4 under in a share of seventh by Americans Scott Stallings, Stewart Cink, Jeff Overton and Mark Wilson.