Macau: India's Gaganjeet Bhullar shot a sizzling eight-under-par 63 in the first round of the $750,000 Venetian Macau Open on Thursday to take a two-shot lead.
The 24-year-old bounced back from a bogey on the first hole with an eagle on the second, holing a 35-foot putt, and seven birdies at the Macau Golf and Country Club.
"When you know mentally that you're striking the ball good, it'll be a matter of putting and if you putt well, you will score," said Bhullar, who finished second in the tournament three years ago.
"I canned that putt (on the second). It changed the whole game plan. I made a lot of close birdies but holed a lot of long putts. Holed two from 40 feet," he said.
"This course is one of my favourite courses in Asia. It will be lovely to have a victory under my belt on this course," the in-form Bhullar added in comments released by the organisers.
He has recently won on the Asian Tour and also finished second and ninth.
Thailand's Prom Meesawat and Scott Hend of Australia led the chasing pack with 65s.
Three-time Asian Tour number one Thongchai Jaidee produced a bogey-free 66 for a share of fourth place with Ireland's Niall Turner, Australian Kieran Pratt and Bangladeshi Siddikur, who had a hole-in-one on the sixth.
Welshman Ian Woosnam, a former Masters champion, launched his campaign with a solid 68 but defending champion Chan Yih-Shin began his defence with a disappointing 73.
Leading scores after round one of the Venetian Macau Open (par 71):
63 - Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND)
65 - Prom Meesawat (THA), Scott hend (AUS)
66 - Niall Turner (IRL), Kieran Pratt (AUS), Thongchai Jaidee (THA), Siddikur (BAN)
67 - Jonathan Moore (USA), S. Siva Chandran (MAS), Berry Henson (USA), Tim Stewart (AUS), Thitiphun Chuayprakong (THA), Jason Knutzon (USA), Lee Sung (KOR)
68 - Sam Cyr (USA), Adam Blyth (AUS), Kwanchai Tannin (THA), Adilson da Silva (BRA), Anirban Lahiri (IND), Antonio Lascuna (PHI), Jarmo Sandelin (SWE), Angelo Que (PHI), Ian Woosnam (WAL), Varan Isarabhakdi (THA)