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Derksen leading star-studded Perth field

  • Story Highlights
  • Dutchman Robert-Jan Derksen leading the Johnnie Walker Classic in Perth
  • Derksen shoots an eight-under 64 to head Mardan Mamat and Tony Carolan
  • Anthony Kim cards a 68 but Camilio Villegas and Greg Norman off the pace
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(CNN) -- Dutchman Robert-Jan Derksen carded an eight-under 64 to lead the Johnnie Walker Classic in Perth by a stroke after the opening round on Thursday.

Derksen has a host of big names breathing down his neck after the opening round in Perth.

Derksen has a host of big names breathing down his neck after the opening round in Perth.

The European/Australasian Tour event has attracted a strong field to The Vines Resort and Country Club and many of the big names are in close contention.

Mardan Mamat of Singapore and Australia's Tony Carolan are Derksen's nearest challengers ahead of the English pair of Lee Westwood and John Bickerton and Ireland's Damien McGrane.

Last week's winner in Malaysia, American Anthony Kang, is in a six-strong group on 67 which includes 2010 Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie and New Zealand amateur sensation Danny Lee.

Ireland's Peter Lawrie, Spain's Ignacio Garrido, Clint Rice of Australia and Japan's Hiroyuki Fujita are also five-under.

U.S. Ryder Cup hero Anthony Kim carded a 68, but world number nine Camilo Villegas, the highest ranked player in the field, struggled to a level-par 72.

Australian veteran Greg Norman, making a rare appearance in a main Tour event, also disappointed with a three over 75.

Derksen, chasing his first European Tour win since 2005, managed only one birdie in his first seven holes but reeled off four consecutive birdies from the eighth to the 11th to move to five under and spark his round.

Three further birdies saw him set a testing mark in the clubhouse.

"It's a very difficult course," he told the official Tour Web site. "There are a lot of easy holes and I made three par fives in two, but if you're slightly off, you can make some big numbers."

Kim, who is taking part in the lucrative Race to Dubai, disappointed in Malaysia, but believes he is finding his best form. "I played a lot better. I found my rhythm, I have got back into the golfing mindset. I made some pretty careless errors out there but good enough to make pars," he said.

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