18 Aug 2017

Pearce in front in Fiji

6:32 am on 18 August 2017

The Ashburton golfer Daniel Pearce has the lead after the first round of the $1.5 million Fiji Open.

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Photo: Supplied

Pearce opened the European, Asian and Australasian Tour event with an opening round six-under 66.

He's one shot ahead of another New Zealander Ben Campbell and Australian Daniel Valente.

Pearce, 29, kick-started his round at the Natadola Bay Championship Course with back-to-back birdies, adding a third at the par-five 17th to turn three under the card.

He went on to eagle the first then birdie the next three holes, but faded to bogey the sixth and eighth.

Campbell mixed four birdies and an eagle with a solitary bogey for his five-under 67.

Josh Geary and Kieran Muir are the next best-placed New Zealanders, both carding even par 72 for a share of 33rd place.

However, Ryan Fox hasn't been able to replicate the solid recent form that earned him top-six finishes in the French, Irish and Scottish Opens.

He carded a one-over 73 for a share of 52nd with 14 others, including compatriot Gareth Paddison.