A CONFIDENT Aaron Baddeley has taken his rich vein of form to the OHL Classic in Mayakoba, Mexico, where the three-time PGA Tour winner is the joint first-round leader.
Play was suspended prematurely on day one due to darkness, with 21 players still needing to complete their first rounds on Friday morning.
Melburnian Baddeley opened with a 6-under 65 to share the lead with Americans Justin Leonard, Shawn Stefani and Derek Fathauer.
Americans Michael Thompson, DJ Trahan, Charles Howell III and Patton Kizzire are in the chasing pack, one shot behind the leaders at 5-under.
Baddeley, who lost his full tour status at the end of last season, played brilliantly at the Sanderson Farms Championship in Jackson, Mississippi, last week to finish just two shots off tournament winner Peter Malnati.
He brought that form into this tournament, going on a Thursday birdie-blitz on the 11th, 13th, 15th and 16th holes after teeing off the 10th hole.
Baddeley made bogey at the par-4 third, before bouncing back with birdies on the fourth, sixth and ninth to close out his round.
WATCH: FIRST ROUND HIGHLIGHTS
Veterans Robert Allenby and Rod Pampling are the next best Australians at Mayakoba Golf Club, carding opening rounds of 2-under 69 with eight birdies and an eagle between them.
That duo sits in a tie for 41st.
Victorians Geoff Ogilvy and Stuart Appleby carded 1-over 72 and 2-over 73 respectively, while PGA Tour rookie Rhein Gibson struggled to be 4-over through 15 holes.
MAYAKOBA CLASSIC FIRST ROUND LEADER BOARD
|t1||aaron baddeley (aus)||-6|
|T41||rod pampling (AUS)||-2|
|T41||robert allenby (AUS)||-2|
|t99||geoff ogilvy (aus)||1|
|t111||stuart appleby (AUS)||2|
|t126||rhein gibson (AUS)||4 (15)|
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