3 Feb 2017

Promising opening rounds for Paddison and Fox

6:53 am on 3 February 2017

New Zealand golfer Garreth Paddison has a share of the lead after the opening round of the Victorian PGA at Huntingdale in Melbourne.

Ryan Fox

Ryan Fox Photo: Photosport

Paddison is tied with Matthew Giles of New South Wales at seven under par - a one shot lead over the rest of the field.

Paddison's 65 was made up of an eagle, six birdies and a bogey.

Paddison credited his lead to his smart play on the par-5 holes which took the pressure off the rest of his game.

"I hit a lot of birdies and a lot of one-putts which was quite nice and I played the par-5's really well," Paddison said.

"My second shots in to the par-5's were massive for me and I was hitting my one-putt's off them too.

"It makes it a damn sight easier to play golf when you're playing the par-5's well around here."

The leading score was a welcome surprise for Paddison.

"It was a bit unexpected to go that low on a Championship course like this but I've played a lot at Huntingdale and it was nice to hit some good shots and capitalise on them.

"It's probably the lowest opening round I've shot in god knows how long, so it was nice to get the first tournament underway and play some nice golf."

The next best New Zealander is Brad Shilton who is two shots of the leaders in a tie for seventh.

Fox starts well in Dubai

Auckland golfer Ryan Fox has made a strong start to the Dubai Desert Classic.

Fox only made the field as an alternate, when someone else withdrew.

He fired an opening round four under par 68 to be in a tie for eighth.

Fox is three shots behind leader Spaniard Sergio Garcia.

Tiger Woods' return to the game did not go so well, he shot a five over 77 and is tied for 121st.