Hoey on top in Thailand

Michael Hoey impressed with an eight under 64 to lead after the opening round of the True Thailand Classic on Thursday.

The Northern Irishman took advantage of the calm conditions earlier in the day to roll in eight birdies in a flawless round, securing the Black Mountain Golf Club course record in the process.

“We had ten or 11 holes with not much wind, which was an advantage teeing off early,” the 35-year-old told europeantour.com.

“I hit the ball well, and it suits me that there’s a bit of length off the tee; you can carry a few corners and reach the par fives in two.

“It has been a long time since I had a bogey-free card. To be bogey-free and have no fives on the card – and a course record – is a nice start. I’m swinging the club well so hopefully I can put three more good rounds together and see what happens.

“I started to hit the ball well in the Middle East, but I was coming 50th or thereabouts each week. At least I was making cuts and making money, but throwing in a few double bogeys was ruining my scorecards. Hopefully this is the start of some more bogey-free stuff.

“This is a marathon. I’m just pleased to get something out of it, because I’ve been working hard for a long time and not getting the scores. This is really satisfying to get a good score and hopefully I can follow it up tomorrow – Friday 13th is going to be lucky for me!”

While it was an amazing round, It was needed by Hoey as the chasing pack of David Lipsky, Carlos Pigem and Taiwan’s Chien-Yao Hung are just one stroke behind on seven under.