Nitties shares 2013 Perth International lead

James Nitties 595

AUSSIES James Nitties and Clint Rice, South Korean Jin Jeong and Swede Peter Hedblom lead the ISPS HANDA Perth International after the first round.

The international quartet fired rounds of 4-under 68 to be just one stroke clear of the field at Lake Karrinyup Country Club.

Nitties, originally from Newcastle in NSW, spent the year competing on the Web.com Tour before coming home and finishing tied third at the WA Goldfields PGA Championship two weeks ago.

“I sort of had mixed emotions coming in this week, but the game is there. I’m very happy to be at 4 under through the first round,” said Nitties, who missed the Web.com Tour playoffs by one position.

Enjoying competing in Perth, Nitties says courses in Australia suit his style of play.

“This is more my style of golf thinking wise. I prefer this style of golf; firm and fast,” he Nitites.

“You come home and the courses are perfect. Out in the States it’s target golf and here it’s more position and running golf shots up.”

Tasmanian Clint Rice said his performance today was all about pre-tournament preparation.

“I turned up here on Monday and started planning precisely how to play this golf course. It’s definitely a challenge to play this golf course well,” said Rice, who missed the cut last year.

“I was a bit under prepared last year. I didn’t really treat the course with enough respect. So I took a different approach this year.”

Finishing a shot off the leaders was tournament drawcard Dustin Johnson, Australians Nick O’Hern, Nick Cullen, Dimi Papadatos and amateur Brady Watt. They are also joined by European Tour players Sam Little (ENG), Fred Andersson Hed (SWE) and Bjorn Akesson (SWE).

Johnson was please with his first round of 3-under 69 after struggling with his health in the lead up to the event.

“I’m feeling way better than I was. I just have a little bit of a cough which is okay. I’m back to where I feel good enough to play good golf,” said Johnson.

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Brian is a former Sydney journalist who didn’t have a skerrick of interest in golf till he hit his first ball at the age of 49 (and a half). Since then golf has just about overtaken his life. Brian founded Australian Senior Golfer in April 2008 and has since covered every Australian Open, Presidents Cups, World Cups and numerous other big men’s and women’s tournaments, spending days inside the ropes with the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Tom Watson, Greg Norman, Adam Scott, Jason Day, Karrie Webb, and many others. He has also played in, and reported on, amateur tournaments, particularly senior and veteran events, around the country. Brian is a member of the Australian Golf Media Association.

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