Date: December 06, 2007

Strange sparkles to take charge

Australian Scott Strange has fired a sparkling seven-under-par 65 to take the opening day lead at the Volvo Masters of Asia on Thursday. Strange, a two-time winner on the Asian Tour, was in irrepressible mood at the Thai Country Club, sinking eight birdies against a lone bogey to open up a two-shot lead over Filipino veteran Frankie Minoza and Thailand&aposs Prayad Marksaeng. Title-holder Thongchai Jaidee began his defence with a battling 70 while compatriot Chapchai Nirat and Liang Wen-chong, who are in a straight fight for the Asian Tour&aposs UBS Order of Merit crown in this week&aposs season finale, carded a 71 and 72 respectively. The limelight on the opening day belonged to Strange, however, who is 20th on the Order of Merit after enjoying a stellar season. “It&aposs a good start,” Strange, 30, said. “I played pretty good all day, hit a lot of fairways and greens.” “The rough is lower than normal but the greens are quick enough and hard enough to pose a problem. You can&apost really stop a wedge shot. It&aposs running out 15 or 20 metres.” He turned in 32 with five birdies against a lone bogey before ramming home three more birdies on the 10th, 13th and 14th holes. Strange, who has seven top-20s this season, hopes his luck will carry him through Sunday. “I&aposve been in position (to win) a few times this year but haven&apost finished them off.” “Hopefully I can do that this week. Things happen. I could be in the same position next year and win five times.” “It hasn&apost worked out this year but golf is all about learning and you try to learn.”