SINGAPORE – Tom McKibbin was a surprise first-round leader of the Singapore Classic after shooting 8-under 64 on Thursday.
The 20-year-old Northern Irishman is ranked No. 308, has just one top-10 finish on the DP World Tour and has missed the cut in two of his three events in 2023.
Yet he made eight birdies – including five in his last eight holes – in a bogey-free round at Laguna National Golf Resort Club.
McKibbin led by a stroke from four players – Matthieu Pavon of France, Sami Valimaki of Finland and Swedish pair Joakim Lagergren and Simon Forsstrom.
At No. 30, Ryan Fox of New Zealand is the highest-ranked player in the field and opened with an even-par 72.
Marcel Siem teed off to become the 45th player to make 500 appearances on the tour. The German player shot 74.