Min Woo Lee directs Adam Scott and Cameron Smith

Adam Scott shot a 5-under 66 on Thursday after a 6am start to follow with a shot after the first round of the Australian PGA Championship at Royal Queensland.

Three other Aussies fired 65 shots in the afternoon groups – Min Woo Lee, Jason Scrivener and John Lyras – to share the first-round lead.

Lee, 24, is considered one of Australia’s rising stars and is the brother of women’s champion Minjee Lee.

Brad Kennedy, Anthony Quayle and South Korea’s Jeunghun Wang matched Scott’s 66 and tied for fourth.

Watch all the action from the Australian PGA Championship 2022 on Nine and 9NOW.

Scott was playing in the same early morning group as British Open champion Cameron Smith, who was three strokes behind after a 68, and Ryan Fox, a close runner-up to Rory McIlroy on the Order of Merit for the European tour this season , who had a 72.

Fox, 35, is world No. 27 after finishing last year at No. 213. The New Zealander has won two European tours and finished second four times in his resurgent season.

Australia’s Min Woo Lee plays a shot on the 13th hole during day one of the 2022 Australian PGA Championship at Royal Queensland Golf Club. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images) (Getty)

Scott had an early task for ‘new’ caddy Steve Williams, who came out of retirement to carry the bag for the 2013 Masters champion. couldn’t find his golf bag.

Eventually recovered from their manager’s hotel room, the duo were greeted by hundreds of early risers on the 10th tee.

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“It was panic stations…Steve was kicking down doors,” Scott said with a laugh of his morning search for his clubs.

Solid approach play led to four tap-in birdies in five holes either side of the turn, then, after back-to-back bogeys brought him back downfield, Scott’s putt gave him two more birdies in the last three holes.

Adam Scott and Cameron Smith chat during day one of the 2022 Australian PGA Championship at the Royal Queensland Golf Club. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images) (Getty)

Scott asked for local advice on how to navigate Royal Queensland’s spectacularly undulating greens which feature crisp runoff. His decision to putt multiple times from the green paid off.

“The conditions couldn’t be better and you want to take advantage of it,” he said. “I’m very happy with that, all really solid stuff.”

Scott said Williams, who caddyed for the Australian when he won the Masters nine years ago, was keen on his return to the tournament.

“Yeah, that was great, he obviously hasn’t been to events in quite a while, so I think he was pretty excited,” Scott said.

“We went out and played on Tuesday morning, it’s pretty easy. I may have changed, but I know he’s not so I knew what to expect when we went out and fell back in familiar routines was pretty good.”

Australian PGA Championship Round 1

Returning to Australia after a three-year absence due to the coronavirus pandemic, world No. 3 Smith shrugged off an “uncomfortable” front nine with four birdies and stayed within touching distance of a header.

“Scotty was playing really well, he’s becoming an old guy and he might be tough to chase,” Smith said.

“Yeah, I would love to (a match in the finals), I haven’t done that with Scotty yet, it would be epic.”

Nicolai Hojgaard shot 68 while his 21-year-old identical twin Rasmus Hojgaard had a 69. The Belgian siblings made European tour history last year by winning back-to-back tournaments.

Smith is among six players who have competed in Saudi-funded LIV golf events this year. Others include Marc Leishman (69 Thursday), Wade Ormsby (72) and defending champion Jed Morgan (70).

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