JOHN SENDEN shot five birdies in his opening nine holes to give the 2012 Emirates Australian Open a real shake on the first day of the championship at The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney.
Senden, the runner-up to Greg Chalmers last year, finished with a 6-under 66 to take a two stroke overnight lead.
The Queenslander hit off at 7am in ideal conditions and as the wind picked up later in the day no-one could match him.
“I felt good the whole round,” Senden said. “I got off to a hot start and it was nice to hang on to that during the middle of the round.”
“I dropped a couple, at two (his 11th hole) and three, and then bounced back at seven and eight.”
In second place was a group of five golfers including England’s Justin Rose, Kiwi Gareth Paddison and Aussies Kim Felton, Richard Green and Brendan Jones.
One stroke further back were Aussies Marcus Fraser, Stephen Allan and Nick Flanagan.
Veteran Peter O’Malley headed a group of seven tied for 10th on 2-under including Stuart Appleby, Nick Cullen, Marc Leishman, Timothy Wood and Kiwis Mahal Pearce and Josh Geary.2012 Emirates Australian Open Leaderboard