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NAKAJO, Japan (AP) _ Australian Scott Laycock shot a course-record 8-under 64 Thursday and took a two-stroke lead after the opening round of the NST Niigata Open.

Laycock, seeking his first victory in Japan, had four birdies on the front nine and four on the back side in a bogey-free round over the 7,029-yard, par-72 Nakajo Golf Club. He one-putted 12 holes.

Go Higaki of Japan shot a 66 for second place. Tied for third at 67 were Yuji Igarashi, Kazuhiro Kinjo, Yui Ueda, Takenori Hiraishi, Hidemasa Hoshino and Hideki Matsuba, all non-winners on Japan's tour.