Australian PGA: Rickie Fowler opens up two-shot lead at Royal Pines

Last Updated: 07/11/13 10:17pm

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Rickie Fowler: Set the early pace at the Australian PGA

Rickie Fowler: Set the early pace at the Australian PGA

Sky Bet

A birdie blitz on the back nine helped Rickie Fowler set the first-round pace at the Australian PGA on the Gold Coast.

Fowler picked up six birdies on his last eight holes to card an eight-under-par 63 on the revamped Royal Pines resort course.

That was enough to give the 24-year-old a two-shot lead over home favourites Adam Scott, David McKenzie and Matthew Ballard.

"It was a good solid start," Fowler said. "A little bit slow on my front nine, but I just stayed patient and finally got a few things to go, made a couple of good up and downs."


Fowler, who started his round on the 10th, made a solid start of five straight pars before he picked up two birdies in the next four holes.

And Fowler came alive on the back nine as he birdie the second, third, fifth, sixth, eighth and ninth to take control.

Scott, playing in his first tournament on home soil since his Masters success in April, carded a round of 65 alongside compatriots McKenzie and Ballard.

Scott had a bogey-free round, with the 33-year-old picking up shots on the sixth, seventh, eighth, 12th, 15th and 18th.

Nathan Green was on his own in fifth spot after his five-under 66, while Jason Norris and Kwon Sung-yeol were a shot further back.

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