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Paul Casey was delighted with his opening round of 68 at the Singapore Open

Last Updated: 10/11/12 12:45am

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Paul Casey: Shot an opening 68 at Sentosa GC in Singapore

Paul Casey: Shot an opening 68 at Sentosa GC in Singapore

Sky Bet

Paul Casey admitted he was delighted to emerge from the first round of the Singapore Open in touch with the leaders after competing in testing conditions.

Heat and humidity provided a real challenge for the early starters and Casey handled both to complete an opening 68 before thunderstorms rolled in to force an early finish to day one.

The Englishman has rediscovered some form in recent weeks after a difficult season that was disrupted by an injury picked up snowboarding and sits just two back of early pacesetter Thomas Bjorn.

"I'm very happy with that," stated Casey. "It's the first time I've played in this kind of humidity for a while. Just hanging on to the club with sweaty hands is the biggest problem.

"The golf has been very nice lately and I would love to sneak in a win before the end of the year.

"This is a difficult set-up - I don't think there's a wedge or sand-wedge into any of the par fours and there's a lot of thick rough. It's pretty much a ball-striker's paradise."

Bjorn satisfied

Bjorn echoed Casey's sentiments and acknowledged he was pleased to have made such a solid start on a difficult lay-out.

"I came here and saw the golf course, and its set-up to be tricky this year and I knew that everything was about driving the golf ball well," declared the 41-year-old Dane.

"It's not the longest golf course in the world so if you can keep it in the fairway, you can produce a score, and I did that very well today. That's only round one, so we'll work from here.

"Any time you can find some shadow you do it. You don't do too much practice and you pace yourself - it's a long, long week and you've got to stay energised."

Edoardo Molinari had more reason to smile than most after his first ever hole-in-one as a professional at the 17th hole on Thursday.

"I hit a six-iron 188 yards and we had a decent view of it. It pitched just short of the hole and all of a sudden the people behind the green started to scream and clap," the 31-year-old Italian explained.

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