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Aussie Michel leads Asia-Pacific Amateur

Melbourne’s Lukas Michael has made a superb start to the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, joining defending champion Yuxin Lin, of China, and top-ranked amateur Keita Nakajima, of Japan, at the head of the leaderboard after the first round in Dubai.

The Australian was among seven players sharing the lead on four-under-par 67, as the some of the biggest stars got off to an ideal start on Wednesday.

Lin is trying to become the first three-time winner of the event, which began in 2009 and awards a spot in the Masters and British Open to the winner. Nakajima already has locked up the Mark H. McCormack Medal for being the world’s No.1 amateur.

Michel, who won the US Mid-Amateur in 2019, was also joined at the top by Sam Choi, of South Korea, Hong Kong’s Alexander Yang, New Zealand’s Jimmy Zheng and South Korea’s Wooyoung Cho.

Michel went out in three-under 32 and also recorded bogeys at the 10th and 13th, with his only blemish coming at the 12th which he bogeyed.

Nakajima has already won a Japan Golf Tour event and tied for 28th in the Zozo Championship on the PGA Tour two weeks ago.

His round at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club included a tee shot that sailed out-of-bounds on the second, only for him to respond with six birdies over the next 11 holes. He was slowed late by a three-putt bogey on the 16th.

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