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Perth International 2016: Peter Uihlein takes lead, Victor Dubuisson struggles

American Peter Uihlein defied windy conditions to shoot a brilliant 65 and take the day one lead at the Perth International at Lake Karrinyup, but big-name drawcard Victor Dubuisson looks unlikely to make the cut after a disastrous opening round.

Keen angler Dubuisson's attempts to get in a spot of fishing on Wednesday were undone by rough conditions but he might have plenty of time for it over the weekend, after a 77 on Thursday left him tied for 141st spot in the 156-player field.

Noted for his detachment on course, the world No. 37 looked deflated during a back nine in which he dropped three shots in the space of five holes and also missed what looked to be a certain birdie chance on the par-five 15th.

Only a closing birdie on 18 stopped Dubuisson from being even further down the leaderboard and he'll need all the escape artist tricks he displayed against Jason Day in the 2014 WGC Matchplay Championships just to qualify for weekend play.

By contrast, big-hitting Uihlein - playing in the same group - fed off the energy of a spectacular hole-out eagle on the ninth hole to card by far the best of the afternoon rounds.

The 26-year-old's score was made all the more meritorious because of a mid-round switch in an earlier easterly wind to a fresh sea breeze.


Uihlein's eagle on nine, which followed a massive drive that put him a little more than 50 metres from the pin, had everyone talking. Not that he saw much of it himself, because of the elevated green.

"A hole like nine with the way the wind was, I felt like we could be aggressive and take that on," Uihlein said.

"It [the pitch shot] was a good number, where I felt like I was just trying to carry it 55 [yards] or so, one hop and skip it up there.  Just took a nice little bounce and looked like it was going right down the flag.

"I heard it hit the flag, before people kind of stood up and started applauding."

Uihlein's only bogey of the day came on the first hole, oddly enough rated the course's easiest. He took iron off the tee, missed the fairway and needed what he rated as one of his best chips just to earn the chance to putt for par.

On the back nine, however, there were no such worries, as he lag-putted superbly from long range several times and got up and down for par neatly from a greenside bunker at 10.

The 2013 European Tour rookie of the year resisted the temptation to try to drive the par-four 14th green and took two-iron off the tee on the imposing par-four 18th, despite the fact he was playing into the teeth of the breeze. The decision proved a wise one as only a lipped out-putt denied him a score of 64.

Uihlein's sole professional win to date was at the 2013 Madeira Island Open but with a morning tee time on Friday and favourable wind conditions likely, he can put himself in perfect position to add a second title over Saturday and Sunday.

His chief challengers heading into day two are little-known Indian Shiv Kapur and Frenchman Romain Wattell, both of whom shot six-under scores of 66 in the more hospitable Thursday morning conditions.

The Australian charge is led by Rhein Gibson, who carded a five-under 67 in the afternoon. Brett Rumford, Scott Arnold, Anthony Houston, Todd Sinnot and Nick Cullen are all a shot back on four-under.

Pre-tournament favourite Louis Oosthuizen had a luckless 70 to open, while big names other than Dubuisson also battling to make it through to the weekend include Nicolas Colsaerts (three-over), Matteo Manassero (plus-four) and Stephen Gallacher (plus-five).