Peter Lawrie shot an incredible 8-under 64 to storm into the lead after the opening round of the Sicilian Open.

It was a bit of a turn up for the books, form wise, as the Irishman has only made two cuts this season before this event.

But the 38-year-old sunk nine birdies, along with a solitary bogey, to set a new course record.

It was the second time the course record was broken during the first round, after Søren Kjeldsen set the mark of 65 in the morning session and was later joined in second place by Jamie Donaldson and Tano Goya.

Lawrie was as confused as the rest of us about the reason for his sudden return to form.

“I don’t know really, probably just determination on my part.

“I’ve got off to a bit of a slow start this season, but perhaps this will give me the kick up the backside I need. It helped that I holed a few putts today, that was the biggest difference.

“I putted beautifully, especially on the front nine. I holed two 20 footers in a row, and I didn’t hole a single 20 footer for the entire season last year! So that really set the tone, because it makes you feel like you can hole anything. When I had a few chances coming in I managed to take them, and getting up and down for par on the last was very important.”

South African performance

Alex Haindl also sunk nine birdies in his opening round, but bogeyed the 16th and double bogeyed the 18th to card an impressive 66, two shots off the pace on six under.

Tjaart van der Walt shot a 3-under 69, while Garth Mulroy was a shot behind him on 2 under.

Branden Grace continues to struggle for form and shot a 3-over 75, Darren Fichardt didn’t have the best first round either and shot 76.