Houston leads Australian-dominated Fiji International

NATADOLA, Fiji (AP) " Anthony Houston shot a 7-under 65 on Thursday in the Fiji International, leading 10 Australians atop the first-round leaderboard.

Houston eagled the par-5 17th and had six birdies and a bogey at Vijay Singh-designed Natadola Bay.

"You think I might have played aggressive, but I didn't," Houston said. "I just played to where I thought I should and just holed a few putts."

He closed with a birdie on the par-4 ninth.

"It's always nice to birdie the last," Houston said. "It's nerve-wracking but it's where you want to be."

The European Tour is sanctioning the event for the first time, teaming with the PGA Tour of Australasia.

Stephen Leaney and Jake Higginbottom were a stroke back, Jason Norris, Damien Jordan, Matthew Giles, Aaron Pike and Aaron Wilkin shot 67, and Ryan Haller and Matthew Griffin followed at 68.

"I didn't do anything spectacular," Leaney said. "I just did a lot of things well."

At 47 years old, he's playing a limited schedule.

"I'd rather watch my kids grow up, but I still work hard," Leaney said.

Brandt Snedeker, coming off the United States' Ryder Cup victory Sunday in Minnesota, topped the group at 69 along with fellow Americans Boo Weekley and Ryan Carter.

Singh had a 70. The 53-year-old Fijian is a three-time major champion.

American Heath Slocum also shot 70.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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