PERTH (Reuters) - Australian Brett Rumford and England's Mark Foster each carded a six-under-par 66 to take a share of the lead in the opening round at the inaugural World Super 6 tournament in Perth on Thursday.
Twenty-one players were within two shots of the leaders at Perth's Lake Karrinyup Country Club in the unique event, tri-sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia, Asian Tour and European Tour.
The winner will be decided in Sunday's matchplay shootout after three rounds of strokeplay.
A regular cut will take place on Friday. Then the full field will be whittled down to 24 players, who will compete in pairs in six-hole playoffs until only one remains.
Perth-native Rumford lost his European Tour playing card last year but began the 2017 campaign by finishing fifth at the Australian PGA Championship and was looking to continue his good form at home.
Both Rumford and Foster mixed seven birdies with a dropped shot in their first round to improve their chances of making it to Sunday's matchplay.
"It's kind of irrelevant, isn't it, it's top 24. Top eight is a priority," Rumford told reporters. "Would be nice to have that behind the first round, but match play is a different game.
"So it's a different game and I think just getting your foot in the door is the number-one priority this week regardless of how you score.
"I think it's going to be pretty exciting. I think it's going to be great for the viewing, for the spectators."
World number 11 Alex Noren, the highest-ranked player in the field, posted a two-over 74 for a share of the 114th place. British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen carded a 69 for tied 24th.
Foster said he had spoken to Rumford's caddie as he was "... I'll have the same mentality tomorrow, and that is obviously to try and get in that 24, you know, which is an obvious statement as everybody here is."
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Larry King)