Golf - Japan's Oda takes one-shot lead in Thailand

Japan's Koumei Oda nudged ahead of a six-man chasing pack by one stroke to lead OneAsia's season-opening Thailand Open in Bangkok on Thursday.

Reuters
Golf - Japan's Oda takes one-shot lead in Thailand
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Koumei Oda of Japan

Oda hit 11 birdies, offset by a bogey and a double bogey, to card an eight-under-par 64 at Thana City Golf & Sports Club in the $1-million event.

South Korean duo Hwang Jung-gon and Cho Min-gyu, Brazil's Lucas Lee, John Kim of the United States and Australians David McKenzie and Matthew Griffin were a shot behind on 65.

"I have had 10 birdies before, but not 11," said the 34-year-old Oda, a five-time winner on the Japan Tour. "The secret is I putted very well...just 26 putts for the round."

Defending champion Chris Wood of England and Irishman Padraig Harrington were tied for 11th place with others, three shots off the lead.

"I shot five under in the first round last year, so hopefully that is a good sign," Wood said. "The good thing is that everything is in front of you, so you can see the hole unfold from off the tee. That makes it a little bit easier."

Harrington was seven under until he dropped two shots on the par-three 17th hole for a card of five-under 67.

"Five under is a good start but it could have been better," the three-times major winner said. "I'm a bit disappointed, but you can't win a tournament on Thursday."

Ireland's Paul McGinley, who will lead Europe in the Ryder Cup against the United States next year, mixed four birdies with two bogeys for a two-under 70, tied for 49th place.

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