Date: September 25, 2008

Both off to a flyer

Australia&aposs Marcus Both fired a six-under par 64 to be in a tie for second place after the opening round of the Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open in Osaka, Japan. Both, a winner in Asia, enjoyed a flying start with three birdies and an eagle in his first five holes at the US$1.85 million (AU$2.21 million) event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour. Both, winner of the Sanya Open in China in 2004, birdied the first hole from a foot and nailed a four iron to a similar distance for a brilliant eagle at the next hole to jump start his day. He is feeling right at home at the Ibaraki&aposs West Course. “It&aposs a good start, you don&apost often hit five under after five holes. It&aposs nice to play on greens that are similar to those in Melbourne and get away from the Bermuda greens from most places that we play in Asia,” said Both. “I&aposve been playing quite nicely of late but not getting the results. I tend to struggle to hole the higher percentages of putts on the Bermuda greens which is what it comes down to. The greens here are really nice.” Japan&aposs Kaname Yokoo shot a blistering eight-under par 62 to grab the first round lead ahead of Both and Chinese star Liang Wen-chong. It was a good start for the Australian contingent with Scott Hend, Brendan Jones and Gavin Flint all in the hunt at four-under par. Former US Open champion Angel Cabrera of Argentina shot a 68 while American Fred Couples opened with a 70. Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open first round scores: -8: Kaname Yokoo (JPN) -6: Liang Wen-chong (CHN), Marcus Both (AUS) -5: Norio Shinozaki (JPN), Kim Kyung-tae (KOR), Zhang Lian-wei (CHN) -4: Scott Hend (AUS), Dinesh Chand (FIJ), Mark Brown (NZL), Keiichiro Fukabori (JPN), Hideto Tanihara (JPN), Brendan Jones (AUS), Chawalit Plaphol (THA), Katsunori Kuwabara (JPN), Iain Steel (MAS), Gavin Flint (AUS), Toru Suzuki (JPN) -3: Masao Nakajima (JPN), Anthony Kang (USA), Azuma Yano (JPN), Katsumasa Miyamoto (JPN), Taichiro Kiyota (JPN), Yuudai Maeda (JPN), Toshinori Muto (JPN), Taichi Teshima JPN), Kenichi Kuboya (JPN)