Queensland, November 30: Sergio Garcia started his Australian PGA Championship with a blemish-free five-under 67 to sit just a stroke off the lead after round one.
The Spaniard set the early running at the co-sanctioned European Tour and PGA Tour of Australia event, on a morning that saw two short rain delays at the Royal Pines Resort in Gold Coast, Queensland.
Starting at the 10th, Garcia rolled in a 15-foot putt for birdie at his second hole and made a further gain at the 15th.
Masters champion Garcia picked up further birdies at the third, sixth and eighth holes (his 12th, 15th and 17th) to sit a shot off leaders Jordan Zunic and Adam Bland in a five-way tie for third.
Zunic and Bland were among the later starters, with the former hitting an eagle at his last hole to take a share of the lead after making six birdies and two bogeys through 17.
"It's exactly how you want to start a golf tournament so I'm absolutely over the moon," Zunic said.
"I feel like this was coming. Obviously, I didn't know how soon it was going to come but I'm glad. It's nice, it's good for the confidence which has been a bit low lately, that's for sure."
Bland would have held the lead outright had he not bogeyed the last having been seven under in a brilliant round to that point.
"I was just trying to make a few more birdies coming in, especially on the par fives there, I was going for it in two but it didn't pan out," he said.
"It would have been nice to not make a bogey on the last but six under is still six under."
Marc Leishman is among the Garcia pack just one shot back, with Peter Senior, Daniel Nisbet and Michael Wright also in that cluster.