(Reuters) – Masters champion Sergio Garcia and American Kurt Kitayama both carded five-under-par 66 to share the lead after the first round of the Singapore Open on Thursday.
The duo were joined by South African Louis Oosthuizen and Thailand’s Tirawat Kaewsiribandit at the top of the leaderboard at five-under after 16 holes before play was stopped because of lightning at the Sentosa Golf Club’s Seropang course.
“It was a great day, but also challenging. I was one-over after (my) seventh hole but it didn’t feel like I was playing badly,” said Spaniard Garcia, who hit four birdies and an eagle.
“Then I hit two great shots in a row on the 17th and 18th, and that settled me a little bit.”
Kitayama finished third at the Asian Tour qualifying school last week and earned his spot in the field through qualifiers on Monday. The 25-year-old made six birdies as he matched the world No.10’s score.
“I feel really good now, really confident. I started with a birdie (at the third hole) and just let it roll from there,” Kitayama said.
“It’s great to have a good round early in the tournament, as it proves that I am able to do it.”
India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar was four-under after 17 holes and is matched by Australian Lucas Herbert, who had played 14 holes before play was suspended, with play due to resume on Friday.
American Casey O’ Toole, Japan’s Koumei Oda and Indian Jyoti Randhawa shot three-under-par 68s, with Oda’s compatriot Satoshi Kodaira also three-under after 15 holes.
(Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by David Goodman)