Tokyo: Scott Strange shot a six-under-par 64 to lead the Asia-Pacific Open Mitsubishi Diamond Cup on Thursday as he underlined his return to form after being rocked by a triple tragedy.
The 38-year-old Australian lost both his sister and mother to cancer in 2008 and 2009, and a good friend also passed away in events which threatened to derail his career.
But Strange is now enjoying a resurgence and his strong showing at Otone Country Club in Japan`s Ibaraki prefecture put him two shots clear of the field after round one.
"I lost my way until 2013 because my mother (Sylvia) and sister (Natalie) died of cancer and my good friend passed away," he said, according to comments released by the Asian Tour.
"After that, I started thinking there is more to life than golf. Now I`m starting to piece things together by being a father and playing golf. In some ways, I feel that I`ve matured at the age of 38!" said Strange.
Canada`s Richard T. Lee, Wonjoon Lee of Australia and Akio Sadakata of Japan shared second spot on 66 at US$1.2 million event.
64 - Scott Strange (AUS)
66 - Richard T. Lee (CAN), Wonjoon Lee (AUS), Akio Sadakata (JPN)
67 - Panuphol Pittayarat (THA), K.T. Kim (KOR), Jason Knutzon (USA), Prayad Marksaeng (THA)
68 - Tatsuhiko Takahashi (JPN), Yuta Ikeda (JPN), Keiichiro Fukabori (JPN), Kim Hyung-Sung (KOR), Tomohiro Kondo (JPN), Kiyoshi Murota (JPN)