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Papadatos leads Aussies at NZ Open golf

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 9/03/2017

Dimitrios Papadatos heads the Australian contingent after round one at the New Zealand Open, shooting an eight-under par 63 at Millbrook Resort.

Papadatos and New Zealander Brad Shilton are two shots behind Kiwi leader Ben Campbell, who bagged an eagle and two birdies in his final three holes to shoot a course record 10-under 61 at Millbrook.

The three holes capped off a stunning back-nine of 28 for 25-year-old Campbell.

Bogey-free Papadatos, the 2014 NZ Open champion, carded an eagle and six birdies to be a shot ahead of compatriots Scott Barr, Deyen Lawson and 2011 champion Brad Kennedy.

"I started well and kept going, including holing out for an eagle from 105 metres which helped me out a bit," Papadatos said.

"Both courses are quite difficult but conditions favoured the players today and I was happy to have this start."

Singapore-based Barr, who played at The Hills course, was happy with his putting performance during his round of 65.

"I usually think I'm an okay putter but you get on greens that roll true and you have a really good day," Barr said.

"I wasn't expecting the seven under, but it was nice to see the ball go in."

Top-ranked Kiwi Ryan Fox is four-under par.

After completing their first rounds on Thursday, the field will alternate courses for the second round on Friday.

The third and fourth rounds will then be played at the more difficult Millbrook.

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