BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) -- Wayne Smith made eight birdies and shot a 7-under-par 65 Thursday to take the lead after the first round of the Johnnie Walker Classic.
Tiger Woods opened with a 68 and was tied for fourth place with five others.
Smith was one stroke ahead of fellow Australian Paul Gow, while Scotland's Paul Lawrie, the 1999 British Open champion, was third with a 67 on the 6,989-yard Alpine Golf and Sports Club course.
Spain's Sergio Garcia struggled to a 74 that included a quadruple-bogey 8.
During his 16-year professional career, Smith, 39, has won twice on both the Australasian and Japanese Tours, but he hasn't had many rounds better than this one.
Smith made three straight birdies heading into the turn, then had another five on the back nine.
He missed the fairway on No. 7, chipped it back, hit a six-iron to the left fringe and chipped in from five yards. That, he claimed, was his most difficult hole.
"My goal was to hit a lot of pars at the start of the round and take the stress away from needing to get up and down from the rough," Smith said.
But he did bogey the par-4, 412-yard 11th, when he hit past the green and missed the par putt from 15 feet.
Woods, who won this event in 1998, made six birdies and two bogeys, both of which came on the front side. He powered through the back nine in 3-under 33 with birdies on Nos. 12, 14 and 17.
"It could have been a little lower. I went out there to try and hit fairways and greens and I gave myself a couple of good chances there that I missed," said Woods, who three-putted the 555-yard, par-5 fifth after reaching the green in two.
"It was a solid start, score wise, but I didn't really feel like I was playing that great."
Woods, the world's No. 1 golfer, was met earlier this week by protesters demanding that Nike improve working conditions for its 70,000 workers in Thailand. Woods recently signed a $100 million endorsement deal with Nike Inc.
Woods, whose mother is Thai, is a national hero in Thailand.
Gow, who finished with a 6-under 66, got off to a slow start. He bogeyed the second hole, but birdied the fourth and fifth.
Gow holed putts from six, two and eight feet and had a two-putt birdie at the par-5. Gow, who has qualified for the 2001 PGA Tour, said "the best player in the world is in the field and I will see this week if I can compete against him. There is no pressure on me. I always play as hard as I can and make as many birdies as possible."
Lawrie, who teed off from the 10th, had four birdies on his first nine holes and an eagle on the par-5 17th. He made two bogeys and a birdie on the back side.
Garcia was 2-under after five holes, but then he went in the water twice. He had a double bogey on the seventh, and wound up with an 8 on the par-4 11th.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.