WELLINGTON, New Zealand - Australian Shae Wools-Cob took full advantage of benign morning conditions on Thursday (Oct 26) to shoot an eight-under 63 in the opening round of the Asia Pacific Amateur Championship (AAC) in New Zealand.
Wools-Cob is four shots clear of Sean Maruyama (Japan), Lee Min Woo (Australia), Nick Voke (New Zealand) and Lloyd Jefferson Go (Philippines), all of whom fired 67s and are tied for second.
Wools-Cob's stunning round included seven birdies, one bogey and an eagle three on the 18th, and would have set a course record at the Royal Wellington Golf Club but for the preferred lies ruling, which was in play after overnight rain.
The 21-year-old, who started on the 10th hole, needed just 29 strokes on the front nine, matching the AAC record set by Prin Sirisommai in 2012.
"I felt really comfortable out there, like I was in control of my game - it was a nice feeling," the world No. 57 told Golf Australia.
Wools-Cob was part of a morning session that enjoyed calmer weather, with the wind beginning to pick up mid-afternoon.
Seven of the day's top 10 scores were recorded in the morning.
It was the same tale of two sessions for Singapore's golfers on the first day of the 9th AAC.
Abdul Hadi was the only member of the Republic's six-strong contingent with a morning tee-off time.
He shot 71, with three birdies and three bogeys, at the par-71, 6,601m Heretaunga Course.
His team-mates endured torrid afternoons.
SEA Games gold medallists Joshua Shou and Joshua Ho shot 77 while Jesse Yap's 79 owed much to a disastrous start with three consecutive bogeys followed by a triple bogey on the 7th hole.
Shou, 27, said: "I made too many mistakes today. The wind was always switching around and if you get it wrong, you end up either way short or way over."
Ho said his mental state was "not where it should have been".
"I was a bit jumpy today starting as the first group with nobody ahead of us and both my flight-mates quite quick players. Tomorrow I have to do a better job of just sticking to my routine and game," added the 23-year-old.
Gregory Foo and Low Wee Jin signed for 74s.
Said Foo: "I got off to a decent start today but the two double bogeys on the 4th and 8th holes were quite costly.
"I'm not playing badly and just have to minimise the big mistakes. There are definitely good scores out there especially if conditions are anything like this morning's."