Matthew Southgate fires hole-in-one to share lead at Oman Open
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 16/02/18 10:09pm
Matthew Southgate fired his second hole-in-one of the season on his way to grabbing a share of the early advantage at the NBO Oman Open.
Southgate nailed his tee-shot at the par-three fifth on his way to a blemish-free 65 at Al Mouj Golf, moving him alongside Paul Waring at the top of the leaderboard.
Waring also made a bogey-free start as he posted seven birdies in scoring-friendly conditions, with Daan Huizing one off the pace and Andy Sullivan in the group on five under alongside Callum Shinkwin.
"I played some of the best golf I've played in a little while," Waring said. "I actually missed some chances, which sounds ridiculous, but I'm really happy with that.
Beginning on the back nine, Southgate reached the turn in 34 and added gains at the first and third, before holing his 165-yard tee-shot at the par-three fifth with a seven-iron to get within one of the lead.
Waring posted four birdies in a five-hole stretch from the 12th and picked up more three shots on his second nine to set the clubhouse target, which Southgate matched with a penultimate-hole gain.
Huizing holed a six-footer at the last to close an opening-round 66, as Sullivan birdied five of his final eight holes to join Shinkwin - who didn't drop a shot in his opening round - two off the pace.
Jordan Smith was one of six players to open with a four-under 68 and Marc Warren posted a first-round 69, while top seed Alexander Levy kicked off the week with a one-under 71.
Southgate's ace - following on from his one at January's Omega Dubai Desert Classic - was one of two holes-in-one during the opening round, with Marcel Siem nailing his tee-shot at 13th.
Watch the NBO Oman Open throughout the week live on Sky Sports Golf. Live coverage continues on Friday from 6.30am.