Thorbjørn Olesen and Australian qualifier John Wade are the two tied at the top of the ISPS Handa Perth International at the end of day 1 at Lake Karrinyup Country Club.
Thorbjorn Olesen / Getty Images
Both Thorbjørn and John fired matching course record bogey free rounds of -8 under par 64 at Lake Karrinyup Country Club to share the first round lead at the ISPS HANDA Perth International.
The 46-year-old qualifier John, only secured his place in the tournament by carding birdies the last three holes of Monday qualifying. His only ever professional victory came on the Challenge Tour in 2006, and he said he had forgotten what it was like to be at the top of a leaderboard;
“It feels a bit weird actually,I certainly haven’t been top of the leaderboard for a hell of a long time. I just got a fast start. I didn’t play well last week, so wasn’t a lot of form going in, but once I got a fast start, I had to think well, maybe I’ve turned it around a little bit.”
“I didn’t really leave any out there. I got a couple of up and downs in and stuff like that, which helps your round, definitely. It’s been an unknown quantity at the moment, to be honest. I’ve played bits and pieces.”
“I played the British Open last year, which in a way I called on that a little bit today. I played a British Open at Muirfield with no golf, and that’s pretty scary. I got through qualifying and had to really try to man up in front of a pretty intense environment.”
“So I felt today at least, even though it was a long time ago, it was over 12 months ago, you can draw on some of that stuff at my age. That gets you through days like today when you’re playing okay. This is ridiculous really. I didn’t know what to expect.”
“I just was proud that I didn’t let it go after I was six under, which is really annoying for most guys. And someone in my situation, you’re probably half expecting that to happen. Tomorrow is another day. This is all new to me; I’ll just to have go out with the same attitude.”
If John needs any inspiration he should look at Ollie Wilson, who recently won the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at The Old Course at St. Andrews, he had been winless on Tour for 11 years, and was only there on an invitation.
Thorbjørn’s only European Tour title came in Sicily two years ago and currently stands at 64th place on The Race to Dubai, he is looking to move into the top 60 ahead of next month’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship. At the interview with reporters he told them how well he had played today, and how good it would be to win again. He also revealed a strange injury he had earlier in the year, involving a camel!
“I played really, really well the front nine especially, the back nine I hit a couple bad drives, but got a little bit lucky and got away with them.”
“My short game was amazing out there. My chipping, bunker shots were really, really good, so I’m very pleased with the round.
“It’s been a few years since I won. Especially the last six months I feel like I’ve played some good golf and just haven’t been able to put the rounds together, so it’s been a dry period. It would be really, really nice to get some confidence back, and to get a win would be amazing.”
“Start of the year I actually fell off a camel in the desert and pulled my muscle there, so took a couple months before I was ready to play.”
There is a chasing pack of four players who are two shots of the lead after shooting opening rounds of -6 under par 66, they are; Michael Sim, Peter Whiteford, Sihwan Kim and Tom Lewis.