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Senden heads Australian Open

Last updated: 6th December 2012

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An opening round of 66 saw John Senden lead the field after the first round of the Australian Open.

Despite an early wobble, Senden was able to to register a two-shot advantage over countrymen Richard Green, Brendan Jones and Kim Felton, world number four Justin Rose and Kiwi Gareth Paddison.

Following a birdie on the first, Senden coughed up back to back bogeys that threatened to derail his round. He recovered with two more birdies on the front nine before a run of five birdies in seven holes from the 11th to the 17th saw him rocket to the front of the pack.

"I am playing some of the best golf of my life. I need to believe in that and keep going forward," said Senden, who won the tournament in 2006.

"The results have shown in the past couple of years," he added.

"I have been inside the top 30 and been consistent. I have taken those feelings and brought them home to Australia. I feel better for that.

"I am learning every year. I feel I can keep improving and keeping knocking on the door in every event I play."

Rose began his round in mediocre fashion, taking the turn on one-over before notching up five birdies on the back nine.

Jones was one of only a few late starters who were able to make any impression, with conditions becoming tougher as the day progressed.

Having hit the headlines by using a short putter earlier in the week, Adam Scott returned to his belly putter on Thursday as he opened with a round of even par 72.

Defending champion Greg Chalmers was a shot ahead of Scott after registering a 71.



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