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Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Gavin Green and Jordan Smith share Porsche Singapore Classic lead

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Gavin Green and Jordan Smith share Porsche Singapore Classic lead

Gavin Green carded a brilliant 64 in windy conditions to join Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Jordan Smith at the top of the leaderboard after day one of the Porsche Singapore Classic.

Multiple DP World Tour winners Aphibarnrat and Smith had set the target in the morning and it looked like they would not be caught as conditions got more difficult in the afternoon at Laguna National Golf Resort Club.

But Malaysian Green, looking for his maiden DP World Tour victory, carded an eagle, seven birdies and a bogey to buck the trend in the second-wave scoring and join them at eight under.

That meant that two Asian players were among a share of the lead as the Asian Swing got under way, one shot clear of France's Ugo Coussaud and two ahead of Scot Grant Forrest, England's Richard Mansell, Italian Andrea Pavan and Germany's Freddy Schott.

While Green is still looking for a first DP World Tour win, he has nine in the professional ranks, with his sole victory on the Asian Tour in 2017 helping him win the Order of Merit.

Since then he has finished in the top 100 on the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex five times, securing three second-places and has a top ten this season at the Joburg Open.

He got his round off to a spectacular start with a long-range eagle at the third and while he gave a shot back at the fifth, he made four birdies in a row from the seventh - the highlight being a brilliant approach to close-range on the eighth.

He then sandwiched a 25-foot birdie at the 16th with gains at the par-five 13th and last to join the lead.

"We played well, we didn’t do anything crazy," he said. "Nothing special – we just kept hitting fairways, kept hitting greens and made some putts."

Thai Aphibarnrat has four DP World Tour wins but had to go back to the Qualifying School last season to regain his card, having split his time between the DP World and PGA TOURs in recent years.

He turned in 33 after starting on the tenth and was still four under after 12 holes before picking up shots on the fourth, sixth, eighth and ninth.

"It’s a very good start," he said. "Ball-striking was great the whole day, putting was light work, made an easy mistake and bogeyed a par five hole on the third.

"There was a nice bounce back after, I picked up another three birdies in the last four holes which is a great finish."

Smith is one of the most consistent players on Tour, having made 145 of 187 cuts since his rookie season in 2017 with two wins.

The Englishman finished second last time out at the Jonsson Workwear Open and brought that form to Singapore, turning in 31 from the tenth with four birdies and an eagle on the 18th before adding further gains at the third and seventh.

"Everything's coming along nicely," he said. "I definitely got a lot of confidence from two weeks ago in South Africa. The game just feels like it is in a good place.

"So I'm really happy with how the game is looking and what sort of shots I'm hitting and holing a few nice putts, that's always a little bonus."

European Challenge Tour graduate Coussaud is 16th on the Race to Dubai Rankings as he enjoys an excellent debut campaign and he made ten birdies - with six in a row from the 17th - to lead at nine under before surrendering a double-bogey on the ninth.

Schott eagled the 18th but bogeyed the sixth in his 66, while Mansell and Forrest each dropped a single shot and Pavan recorded two bogeys.

There was then a group of 12 players three shots off the lead including Dane Rasmus Højgaard, who has yet to finish out side the top 11 this season from five events.

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