Daniel Pearce storms into the lead at Natadola Bay
Home favourite and course designer Vijay Singh five shots off the pace following a 71
Daniel Pearce of New Zealand during day one of the 2017 Fiji International at Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course. Photograph: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images
Pearce began his back nine with an eagle and three straight birdies to open up a three-shot lead before two late bogeys meant he had to settle for an opening six-under-par 66.
“I holed a really nice putt on the first hole for birdie, which got the momentum going in the right direction,” Pearce said. “There was a lot of good golf. I didn’t quite finish it off how I’d like to but I’m pretty happy.
“The putter was pretty hot today so I rolled in a few putts from all over the place, which was nice.”
Campbell reached the turn in 35 after following a birdie on the first with eight straight pars, but his round came to life after the turn with three birdies in a row from the 10th.
A bogey on the 16th briefly halted his progress, only for the 25-year-old to bounce back with an eagle on the 17th to get within a shot of the lead
“It was a solid round,” Campbell said. “I thought anything under par today would be a great score. It wasn’t easy out there, that’s for sure.
“So I’m really happy to get off to that kind of start. I think at most tournaments you’d take a five-under first round anyway.”
Two-time major winner Angel Cabrera and former Masters champion Mike Weir ended the day six shots off the lead after opening rounds of 72.