Golf - Senden leads Rose at Australian Open

John Senden claimed a two-shot first-round lead at the Australian Open in Sydney.

Senden made eight birdies, including at the 16th and 17th, in a six-under-par 66 at The Lakes Golf Club.

Justin Rose is joint second with Senden's Australian compatriots Brendan Jones, Richard Green and Kim Felton plus New Zealander Gareth Paddison.

"I am playing some of the best golf of my life. I need to believe in that and keep going forward," 2006 champion Senden said.

"I am learning every year. I feel I can keep improving and keeping knocking on the door in every event I play," added the 41-year-old who had five top-10 finishes on the US Tour this year.

World number four Rose had three birdies in the first four holes as he went to the turn in 32 before the wind picked up in the afternoon.

Eight-time Major champion Tom Watson said he was "embarrassed" after disappointing six-over 78.

Home favourite Adam Scott managed an even-par 72 while defending champion Greg Chalmers carded a 71.

LEADERBOARD:

1 John Senden -6

T2 Kim Felton -4

T2 Richard Green -4

T2 Brendan Jones -4

T2 Gareth Paddison -4

T2 Justin Rose -4

T7 Stephen Allan -3

T7 Nick Flanagan -3

T7 Marcus Fraser -3

T10 Stuart Appleby -2

T10 Nick Cullen -2

T10 Josh Geary -2

T10 Marc Leishman -2

T10 Peter O'Malley -2

T10 Mahal Pearce -2

T10 Paul Spargo -2

T10 Timothy Wood -2