Bangkok: World number three Lee Westwood fired a stunning 12-under 60 to take a commanding five-shot lead on the opening day of the inaugural $1 million Thailand Golf Championship on Thursday.
The 38-year-old Englishman sank an eagle and 10 birdies in his round and was six-under after the opening five holes. He made the turn in just 29 shots on his way to equalling the lowest score ever on the Asian Tour.
"It's one of the best rounds I've ever played. I've never shot a 60 before," Westwood said at Amata Spring Country Club near Bangkok.
"I was just on a roll. I hit a lot of fairways and my putting was good. I've been working a lot on my putting," he added.
"I enjoy playing in the heat and I have enjoyed a lot of success in Asia. Asian courses seem to suit me. I always feel comfortable here."
In second place was big-hitting American John Daly, who continued his improving form with a seven-under 65, featuring five birdies and an eagle.
He described it as a "solid round", although it was overshadowed by Westwood's performance.
"What Lee Westwood did today was incredible," said Daly, who was in the group following the Englishman.
"Every time I saw him putt he would bend over and pick up the ball out of the hole. That was just an awesome round of golf he played. I take my hat off to him."
Three shots further back in joint third place on 68 were Gregory Bourdy of France and veteran Thai player Thaworn Wiratchant.
"I hit some nice iron shots and made some good putts," said Bourdy, whose sole bogey was on his last hole, the ninth.
"It was a good bogey," he said. "The ninth is a very difficult hole."
Thaworn, who had earlier suggested the appearance money for some of the top players could have been better spent on flood relief, called his round "lucky" as he had not expected a four-under score.
The Thai player, himself a flood victim, when asked if he would donate his prize-money to disaster relief, replied: "I don't know. My first aim is to make the cut."
Among 10 players a shot further back after shooting 69 was Masters champion Charl Schwartzel who said he was very pleased with his performance. "It's a tough course, but I played really good."
The other two players in Westwood's marquee group, Japanese star Ryo Ishikawa and Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee both settled for two-under 70.
After a poor start, Open champion Darren Clarke rallied on the back nine to record a one-under 71.
Spanish star Sergio Garcia experienced a disappointing round, finishing with a 76.