Paul Casey was delighted with his first round display at the ISPS HANDA Perth International as the Englishman continued to rediscover his form.
A five under par 67 at Lake Karrinyup put the 35 year old in a share of fourth place, two behind leaders Alejandro Cañizares and Michael Hendry.
In the top ten of the Official World Golf Ranking 18 months ago, a snowboarding accident last winter kept Casey on the sidelines and when he did return to action a lack of form saw him slide to 132nd.
However, there were signs his game was on the right track last week when he collected his first ranking points since April with a third-place finish in Korea.
“I played wonderful golf today,” said Casey, who played some spellbinding golf from tee to green and would have gone even lower but for a cold putter on the back nine.
“I’m really happy with 67. I thought the golf course would be trickier this afternoon; I wasn't out this morning but I'm going to assume it was slightly trickier this afternoon. Tee to green was beautiful and ecstatic with the number of birdie chances I had.
“I actually like the position I'm sitting in right now, because those guys who shot seven under, will have to play in the afternoon and who knows, my experience playing in Australia, always gets firm and fast in the afternoon.
“There's not been one Eureka moment where things have started to click. There are just lots of good, positive signs that I'm seeing and today was the most enjoyable round of golf I've played all year by far - it was fun.
“It was great weather, great golf course. We had nice crowds out there; they were having a laugh on 18.
“That's why I play the game of golf, to have days like today where it's all just a dream to be on the golf course playing with guys like Craig Parry.
“It's very positive and today was very much an indication that things are going in the right direction and I'm just playing the golf I'm very capable of. I think the goal for the week will be to maintain that, my course management, the way I attack the golf course. I'll stick to that and whatever happens, happens.
“I can't emphasize this enough - I really enjoy playing in Australia and the crowd were great today. That was really, really nice to get that support after making a lot of birdies. There was a lot of people encouraging me and cheering me on. From that side of things, I can't wait to get out there tomorrow and continue that trend. Australian crowds are always entertaining, they love their sport.
“Hopefully I'm standing over a putt on 18 on Sunday - I would love nothing more than that.”