In his first experience of a World Golf Championship event, Jake McLeod handled himself nicely.
McLeod, the 24 year-old Queenslander who played his way into the field for the $US 10 million WGC Mexico Championship in Mexico City by winning the 2018 Australasian PGA Tour’s order of merit, began with a one-under par 70 at Club de Golf Chapultepec.
He made four birdies and three bogeys to sit inside the top 20 on the leaderboard, with fellow-Queenslander Cameron Smith being the leading Australian.
Smith is tied-11th at two-under par after a 69 that included a long-range bomb for birdie at the 13th, but a double bogey from the water at the par-three seventh hole.
Veteran Canberra pro Matthew Millar began with a 76 in just his second WGC tournament, and Marc Leishman struggled to a 77.
The big news of the day was the emergence of three of the top players in the world — Rory McIlroy (63), Dustin Johnson (64) and Justin Thomas (66) — at the top of the leaderboard.
Meanwhile in the Puerto Rico Open on the PGA Tour of the United States, Aaron Baddeley and Curtis Luck are tied-20th after opening with two-under par 70s.
Andres Romero of Argentina leads there after an opening 66.