Date: November 13, 2008

Arnold fires at NSW Open

<image="1" align="right" />Sydney's Jamie Arnold fired a course-record nine-under par 62 to scorch to the top of the leaderboard after the opening round of the NSW Open at the Vintage on Thursday.

Arnold shot an amazing 11 birdies to take a one shot lead over his closest rival, Aaron Townsend, with Steve Jones a further two strokes behind.

"A new course record, I'll take it. I'm really happy," said a delighted Arnold. "I was out here yesterday playing with my brother, Tim Stewart and my caddy and I could only manage two birdies so I'm really happy, everything went how I wanted it to."

Starting on the tenth tee, Arnold rattled off five birdies in his first five holes and another at the 16th to make the turn at six-under. His stretch home saw two bogeys sneak in but he recovered with three birdies in his last three holes to post the 62 total.

"I just stayed really composed. I didn't get ahead of myself, I stayed in the present which was big mental thing to have," said Arnold.

"I just stayed calm and swung it well all day. Every shot was where I wanted to hit it. Even one of the bogeys wasn't even that bad."

Right on Arnold’s tail is 27-year-old local talent Townsend. The Newcastle born player mirrored Arnolds start as he birdied his first five holes. He made the turn at five-under after a bogey at the 15th but came home with a wet sail, birdying three of his final four holes.

"I got off to a really good start same as Jamie, five birdies in the first five holes – we would have had a good matchplay," joked Townsend.

"I made a silly bogey after those five birdies but I made a couple of good birdies coming back so I was pretty happy. I hit a lot of good shots and hit a lot of good putts."

Victorian Jones is in outright third place on six-under followed Ryan Hammond, Adam Wilcox and Rowan Beste in a tie for fourth on five under.

Leading scores after Round 1 of the NSW PGA Championship
-9: Jamie Arnold 62
-8: Aaron Townsend 63
-6: Steve Jones 65
-5: Ryan Hammond 66, Adam Wilcox 66, Rowan Beste 66
-4: Matthew Griffin 67, Michael Williams 67
-3: Michael Long 68, Aaron Black 68, Rodger Davis 68
-2: Brent McCullogh 69, Brad Andrews 69, Brad Lamb 69, Matthew Ballard 69, Michael McGrath 69, Mark Purser 69, Heath Reed 69, Jason Norris 69, Tim Stewart 69, Adam Porker 69