Michael Hoey sets course record to lead Thailand Classic

Michael Hoey holds a one-shot lead in the Thailand Classic
Michael Hoey holds a one-shot lead in the Thailand Classic
Thailand Classic leaderboard
-8 M Hoey (NI);-7 C Hung (Twn), C Pigem (Spn), D Lipsky (US):-6 S Kapur (Ind);-5 S Hend (Aus), A Noren (Swe), M Ford (Eng), P Junhasavasdikul (Tha), K Aphibarnrat, MA Jimenez (Spn), R Paratore (Ita), P Marksaeng (Tha); Selected others: -3 T Bjorn (Den), M Warren (Sco)

Northern Ireland's Michael Hoey fired a course-record 64 to hold a one-shot lead after the first round of the Thailand Classic at Hau Hin.

Hoey's blemish-free round, studded with eight birdies, kept him ahead of Spaniard Carlos Pigem, Taiwan's Chien-yao Hung and American David Lipsky.

"We had 10 or 11 holes without much wind, which was an advantage teeing off early," said Hoey.

Meanwhile, India's Shiv Kapur enjoyed his birthday, recording an opening 66.

"It's a nice present. You wake up in the morning hoping for a good day because you don't want to be grumpy for the rest of the day," said Kapur, who turned 33 on Thursday.

"I couldn't have asked for a better result."

A stroke further adrift at the Black Mountain Golf Club were eight players including local hope Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez, who holed his approach shot on the ninth for an eagle.

The big-hitting Aphibarnrat scorched his way around the course but his bid for a first-round lead was halted at the 18th, where as he found water and a bunker, ending with a double bogey.

The day, therefore, belonged to Hoey, who is chasing a sixth European Tour title.

He added: "I hit the ball well, and it suits me that there's a bit of length off the tee - you can carry a few corners and reach the par fives in two.

"It has been a long time since I had a bogey-free card.

"I'm swinging the club well, so hopefully I can put three more good rounds together and see what happens."

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