Shaun Norris of South Africa carded an opening five-under-par 67 on Thursday to position himself nicely in a share of fifth, three strokes off the first-round lead in the True Thailand Classic presented by Chang at Black Mountain Golf Club in Hua Hin.
The tournament lead was held by American Peter Uihlein who fired at 64, his best round of The European Tour season, to hold a one-stroke edge over Pelle Edberg. Scott Jamieson and Javier Colomo were in a share of third on six-under, while Norris was in a share of fifth with seven other players.
The tournament is co-sanctioned with the Asian Tour, on which Norris won in the Myanmar Open in February.
“There’s a lot of confidence in my game after the win in Myanmar,” he said. “I’m very happy with the swing, and I hope it can carry on.”
Uihlein showed no signs of rust after a week away from the golf course. “Last week I had a nice vacation, didn’t touch a club which was nice,” he said. “I just rocked up here. You come up here with a clean slate and a fresh start. I hit it so bad on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, so I was kind of bummed. So it’s nice to do this today. Once the tournament got going, I just relaxed.”
Like Uihlein, Norris is long off the tee and that gave him something of an edge. “My length off the tee is definitely an advantage,” he said. “There are a couple of the par-fives that are actually very long and you need to hit two big shots to get to them. And there are a couple of driveable par-fours out there which makes it very interesting.”
He also had a new set of irons in the bag. “Taken me pretty much just a couple of days to get used to them. The old set was pretty much done after two-and-a-half years,” he said.
Behind Norris, Adilson Da Silva was one-under after the first round and Jbe’ Kruger was one-over.