Ben Fox of the US reaped the benefits of extra hours slogging it in the gym as he shot a sparkling eight-under-par 64 to share the first-round lead at the Zaykabar Myanmar Open yesterday.
Fox fired a flawless round with eight birdies that was matched by Australians Scott Hend, who has won once on the Asian Tour, and former European Tour player Wade Ormsby at the Royal Mingalardon Golf and Country Club.
Chinnarat Phadungsil of Thailand, a three-time Asian Tour winner, was a further shot back with Kim Gi-whan of South Korea in the US$300,000 event, the first of the Asian Tour season.
Fox, who is searching for his first Asian Tour victory, credited the hard work in the gym during the off-season for his fast start.
“I tried to get a little bit stronger in the gym and it is showing, because I’m hitting it 10 or 15 yards further this year,” the 24-year-old said.
Playing in his third year on the Asian Tour, Fox made a 25-foot chip-in birdie from the edge of the seventh hole to tie for the lead.
“It was one of my goals coming into the year to get off to a good start more frequently. Obviously, you just don’t plan on shooting eight-under, but it was a nice round,” he said.
Hend, who is among 15 Australians in the field, predicts a low-scoring week as he aims to end a three-year title drought.
“I missed a couple, but you can’t complain when you shoot an eight-under,” he said.