Perth International 2016: Thursday Leaderboard Scores and Highlights

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistFebruary 25, 2016

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 25:  Peter Uihlein of the USA watches his tee shot on the 11th hole during day one of the 2016 Perth International at Lake Karrinyup GC on February 25, 2016 in Perth, Australia.  (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
Paul Kane/Getty Images

Peter Uihlein is the early pace-setter at the Perth International, as he posted a classy seven-under-par round of 65 on Thursday to take a one-shot lead.

In an impressive field at the Lake Karrinyup Country Club in Australia, the American shot six birdies and one eagle on the day, pushing him to the top of the standings. Uihlein is in good company, though, with Romain Wattel and Shiv Kapur each just a shot back after strong starts to their week.

After a pulsating day in Perth, here’s a look at the top of the leaderboard and a recap of the standout moments from Day 1.

Perth International 2016: Leaderboard
RankPlayerOverallDay 1 Score
1Peter Uihlein-765
T2Romain Wattel-666
T2Shiv Kapur-666
4Rhein Gibson-567
T5Cormac Sharvin-468
T5Anthony Houston-468
T5Todd Sinnott-468
T5Brett Rumford-468
T5Scott Arnold-468
T5Nick Cullen-468
T5Magnus A Carlsson-468
T5Richard T Lee-468
EuropeanTour.com

For the full leaderboard check out the European Tour website.

Uihlein Makes Early Running

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 25:  Peter Uihlein of the USA plays his tee shot on the 13th hole during day one of the 2016 Perth International at Lake Karrinyup GC on February 25, 2016 in Perth, Australia.  (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
Paul Kane/Getty Images
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A bogey on the first hole of a competition can often take a while for players to recover from after days of meticulous preparation. But Uihlein, after dropping a shot at the first, bounced back superbly after an initial blip, putting together what was an otherwise flawless round of golf.

Birdies at the third and fourth put him in the red, while another at seven set up a fine finish to the round. Indeed, to cap off what was a very decent front nine, he holed this brilliant approach to eagle the ninth and move to four under:

The back nine saw the American retain his composure, picking up three more shots at 11, 14 and 17 to move into the clubhouse lead.

It was a score nobody else out on course could match on Day 1, and as we can see here courtesy of the European Tour Twitter feed, Uihlein is developing something of a penchant for beginning competitions with a flourish:

There’s little chance of him having things all his own way this weekend, though, as Wattel and Kapur made clear with fine rounds of their own.

The former also made eight birdies on the day and will have been a little disappointed to have dropped shots at two consecutive holes on five and six. However, Wattel said afterwards that he was very pleased with his overall form.

“It's always good to start with a six-under round,” he said, per the European Tour website. “I’m really happy with my round today. That was not easy with a very, very early tee time. I played very well and I managed to make some good putts today. That was the key for me.”

Wattel is just one shot back on Uihlein.
Wattel is just one shot back on Uihlein.Stanley Chou/Getty Images

Kapur didn’t drop any shots on a strong opening day, with three birdies on the front nine and three on the back nine. The Indian player revealed ahead of the round he considered pulling out due to injury as well, although there were no signs of any issues, as he played beautifully.

“I wasn't even sure I was going to tee it up," said Kapur, per the European Tour website. "I was really struggling on the driving range this morning with my shoulder, and the chiropractor here did a great job to get me fit to play. I popped a couple of pills and went out there.”

Kapur was close to pulling out of the competition with a shoulder issue.
Kapur was close to pulling out of the competition with a shoulder issue.Paul Kane/Getty Images

The top-ranked player in the field in Perth is Louis Oosthuizen. The former Open champion was two under par for the opening day, five shots off the leader, and was also pleased with his efforts, per the Asian Tour Twitter feed:

However, it was a rather desperate day for the world No. 37 Victor Dubuisson, as the Ryder Cup star struggled to a shocking opening round of five-over par, which could have been even worse had it not been for an overdue birdie at the last.

Uihlein won’t be overawed by leading the pack, as he's an experienced and confident player; the American will see this tournament as a brilliant chance to secure his first win on the European Tour since 2013. However, with a quality field in pursuit, expect plenty of twists and turns at Lake Karrinyup over the course of what should be an absorbing week of golf.