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Hedblom shares lead in Perth

PERTH, Australia (AP) - Needing a win to retain his European Tour card, Peter Hedblom started in cool, calm fashion Thursday by shooting a 4-under 68 for a share of the lead with Jin Jeong of South Korea and two Australians after the first round of the Perth International.

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''You have nothing to hold back. You have to go for everything,'' the 43-year-old Swede said after a round containing six birdies and two bogeys. ''The game didn't feel that good, but I kept the ball in the fairways.

''I hit a few bad ones and I was lucky to bounce in the fairway. But a solid start.''

Hedblom, Jeong and Australians James Nitties and Clint Rice have a one-stroke buffer over a group of eight players including Dustin Johnson, European Tour players Sam Little and Bjorn Akesson and Australia's Nick O'Hern.

Defending champion Bo van Pelt was a stroke further behind.

''It's a golf course where you need to shoot 3 or 4 under each day. Then maybe have a good day where you shoot 6 or 7 under,'' Johnson said of the Lake Karrinyup Country Club setup. ''I think I've got a pretty good game plan for the golf course.''

The highlight of Jeong's round was an eagle at the 406-meter, par-4 18th - his ninth hole.

''I hit 6-iron from 167 meters - I didn't think it was going to be in but I hit a pretty good shot ... heard people cheering,'' Jeong said. ''If I play well like today, I can be top of the leaderboard as well.''

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
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