Four share lead in Perth

By
Updated: October 17, 2013

Perth, Western Australia (SportsNetwork.com) – Peter Hedblom opened with a 4-
under 68 on Thursday to grab a share of the lead after the first round of the
ISPS HANDA Perth International.

Hedblom was joined atop the leaderboard by James Nitties, Clint Rice and
former British Amateur champion Jin Jeong.

American Dustin Johnson posted a 3-under 69 to grab a share of fifth place. He
stands alongside Nick O’Hern, Nick Cullen, Bjorn Akesson, Sam Little, Fredrik
Andersson Hed, Dimitrios Papadatos and amateur Brady Watt.

Defending champion Bo Van Pelt managed a 2-under 70. He was joined in 13th
place by Josh Younger, JB Hansen, Robert Coles, Rohan Blizard, Anthony Brown,
Mark Brown and Thomas Petersson.

Hedblom and the other three leaders all started on the 10th tee at Lake
Karrinyup Country Club. Hedblom dropped in back-to-back birdies at 11 and 12.
He stumbled to a bogey on the 14th, but bounced back with a birdie at No. 15.

The Swede parred four in a row from the 16th. He faltered to another bogey at
the second, but atoned for that mistake with birdies at three and four. After
three pars in a row, Hedblom birdied the par-3 eighth to gain a share of the
lead.

“The tension is nothing really. Today it felt like any tournament, if I will
be leading playing the last day, then maybe I’ll feel the tension, but right
now it’s just one round out of four. It’s good to at least have a chance to do
it,” said Hedblom, who needs to get inside the top 110 on the Race to Dubai
standings to keep his tour card. “The game is there, you just need a little
bit of confidence.”

Nitties, who won in 2011 on the Web.com Tour, birdied the 11th and 12th, but
bogeyed the 13th. He got that shot back on the 15th.

At the first, the Australian birdied the first and second to move to minus-4.
Nitties tripped to consecutive bogeys at four and five, but he got those
strokes back with birdies on eight and nine.

Rice played five PGA Tour Canada events this year, but missed four cuts and
withdrew from the other event. He carded a birdied on the 11th, then ran off
seven consecutive pars from the 12th.

After another par at the first, Rice collected birdies on the second and
third. The Australian birdied the par-5 seventh, then parred the final two
holes to close out a bogey-free round.

Jeong got off to a fast start with birdies at 10 and 11. He traded a birdie
for a bogey from the 14th and again from the 16th.

The 23-year-old Korean holed out for eagle on the par-4 18th to make the turn
at minus-4. Jeong parred the first three around the turn before stumbling to a
bogey at the fourth.

Jeong carded four pars in a row from the fifth. At the ninth, his last, Jeong
holed a bunker shot for birdie and a share of the lead.

“It’s only the first day and still three rounds to go and plenty of great
players out here, so you never know what’s going to happen,” Jeong stated.
“I’ve just got to do what I’m doing and just keep hitting good shots and
hopefully that’s good enough.”

NOTES: This is the final event for players to get inside the top 110 in the
Race to Dubai standing … Hedblom started the week 179th on that list and
needs a win or a second-place finish to avoid his 11th trip to the European
Tour Qualifying School.