American Purdy Leads in Asia

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AsianPGABANGKOK, Thailand -- American Ted Purdy birdied his final five holes Thursday en route to a 9-under 62 and a three-stroke lead in the first round of the Volvo Masters of Asia.
 
Purdy is playing in the Asian tour's season-ending championship after completing a successful season on the Nationwide Tour, earning his PGA Tour card for next year with a top-20 finish on the Nationwide money list. On Thursday, he made nine birdies in setting a record on the Bangkok Golf Club course.
 
''I've hit five in a row earlier this year and it's so nice when everything you hit finds the middle of the hole,'' Purdy said of his birdies. ''It was a lot of fun.''
 
The rookie of the year on the Asian Tour in 1997 leads Taiwan's Lin Keng-chi and Mexican Pablo Del Olmo, who each shot 65.
 
Australian Pat Giles and American Gary Rusnak are another stroke back at 66.
 
Arjun Atwal, who on Monday became the first Indian to qualify for the PGA Tour, shot a 71.
 
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