The 26 year old former winner of the Madeira Islands Open and twice a runner up in events on the European Tour put recent injury issues behind him as he carved out an impressive afternoon round of 65 to lead by one over Frenchman Romain Wattel and Indian Shiv Kapur.
Australian Rhein Gibson, now a PGA Tour player, is another shot back after his round of 67 while several Australians including Nick Cullen, Todd Sinnott, Brett Rumford, Anthony Houston and Scott Arnold are in the group at 4 under and three shots from the leader.
Pre-tournament favourite and leading world ranked player in the field, Louis Oosthuizen opened with a round of 2 under 70 to be in a share of 23rd position.
Uilhein was plagued by a wrist injury in events in the Middle East but things appeared to be heading in the right direction when he finished 9th at last week’s Malaysia Championship.
“Playing out here, it's always a treat and it's one of my favourite courses," said Uilhein. "It is an Alister Mackenzie course, and we don't really get that many courses in America ‑‑ obviously we've got Augusta and then Cypress, but we don't really get to play his courses that often. It's always a treat when you get to play them. I think that's why I enjoy it so much because it's just a fabulous golf course. It's well designed and it's a challenge and it's fun.”
In actual fact Uilhein was a little mistaken with his MacKenzie comment as it was an original Alex Russell design although Russell has a strong MacKenzie influence.
The cut at this stage appears as if it will fall at 1 over.
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