Keith Horne led the morning field at the SMBC Singapore Open on Thursday with an opening round of 66 Sentosa Golf Club.
‘I’m really happy with my result today as I haven’t played here for a couple of years. But whenever I do come over here, I generally play well.
‘So it’s nice to renew my friendship with the golf course. I had a bit of a walkabout in the middle of the round but then I also had a good run coming in,’ he said.
The 44-year-old outshone the tournament’s marquee names (Jordan Spieth and Byeong Hun An) on his way to a five-under-par score in the clubhouse.
‘I think they (Spieth and An) were just born when I turned professional so it’s always nice when you play well and get off to a great start. I putted great today which was important. I put a new driver in the bag today and I hit it so far and straight and that made a huge difference,’ said Horne.
The eight-time Sunshine Tour winner narrowly kept his Asian Tour card after finishing the 2015 season ranked 59th on the Order of Merit, but got his new year off to a great start. Over the next three days he could do something really special.
Spieth, meanwhile, was one shot off the pace after shooting a bogey-free 67 in Singapore. The world number one struggled with his irons, but putted well enough to stay in the running.
‘My speed control was great, with no three putts, I had a lot of putts over 30 feet today, I know I was not hitting it close enough but I managed to hit the fairway to a good number and get onto the greens where I just need to two-putt. It was pretty stress free and but there were no real opportunities,’ he said.