Stadler and Scott lead Johnnie Walker

Paul Casey has put himself into the mix at the Johnnie Walker Classic at The Vines in Perth, shooting a four-under-par 68 to sit 11th, four strokes behind first-round leaders Kevin Stadler and Adam Scott on 64.

The Englishman birdied two of his first three holes of the day before recording another four birdies on the back nine in breezy conditions.

The flamboyant Ian Poulter shot out of the blocks with birdies on three of his first four holes, but slipped up on the par-five 10th with a double bogey before birdies on his last two holes saw him finish with a two-under 70.

Poulter’s compatriot Ross Fisher endured an inconsistent round, shooting six birdies and three bogeys on his way to a three-under 69, with Richard Bland joining him.

KJ Choi enjoyed a purple patch midway through his round, the Korean shooting six birdies from seven holes on his way to a seven-under 65.

Defending champion Scott picked up shots on his final three holes to finish eight-under with a share of the lead, but it has been Stadler, son of American golfing legend Craig Stadler, who has stolen the show.

The 26-year-old, ranked 256th in the world, posted an amazing six consecutive birdies – from the ninth to the 14th holes – to overtake Australia’s Richard Green who was the early pace-setter.

Green made a great start with birdies at his first three holes before finishing with a 66, tied with fellow Aussie Tony Carolan and Frenchman Jean Van De Velde.

Englishman Robert Coles was looking good at five-under with just two holes to play, but double-bogeyed the par-four 17th and par-five 18th to finish with a one-under 71.

Scottish golfers Colin Montgomerie and Scott Drummond remain in the hunt with 70s, tied with a host of others including Gary Emerson, Gary Evans and Barry Lane.

South African Retief Goosen and US Open champion Michael Campbell of New Zealand made a mediocre start to the tournament, the pair in the clubhouse with rounds of level-par 72.

Four Australians – Nick O’Hern, Marcus Fraser, Ewan Porter and Brett Rumford - are tied for seventh, shooting rounds of 67.

As regards Irish players, Peter Lawrie and Gary Murphy are one over par, with Damien McGrane a shot further back.

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