Friday 22 September 2017

Casey ecstatic with showing Down Under

Michael Davis

Little-known New Zealander Michael Hendry and Spaniard Alejandro Canizares grabbed the first-round lead at the Perth International as the swirling winds left Charl Schwartzel and Jason Dufner six shots off the pace.

Hendry and Canizares fired seven-under-par 65s at the $2m European Tour event at Lake Karrinyup, with Englishman Paul Casey among the chasing pack after a 67.

Casey, the former world No 3, showed no signs of his recent struggles as he continues to battle back from a dislocated shoulder suffered in a snowboarding accident last year.

"I played wonderful golf today," the world No 132 said.

"I thought the golf course would be trickier this afternoon. Tee to green was beautiful and I am ecstatic with the number of birdie chances I had."

Canizares, looking for his second Tour win after his 2006 Russian Open success, was a late entry for the Perth event after only deciding to compete following his missed cut in Portugal last week.

"I played pretty steady the whole round and gave myself plenty of chances," the Spaniard said.

Argentina's Emiliano Grillo was one shot back after a 66, with Casey and compatriot Andrew Johnston tied fourth.

Ireland's only representative Gareth Maybin faces a tough battle to make the cut after a disappointing opening 77.

Perth International, Day 2

Live, Sky Sports 1, 6.30am

Irish Independent

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