The Northern Irishman notched eight birdies in a blemish-free round to sit one shot ahead of David Lipsky, Carlos Pigem and Hung Chien-yao. The five-time European Tour title winner was understandably delighted after setting a new benchmark at the Black Mountain Golf Club. “I’m very happy with that,” Hoey said. “I know the course is scoreable because there’s not a lot of rough, but the wind picks up and the last few holes were tricky today.” He added: “It has been a long time since I had a bogey-free card. I was talking to my coaches recently about throwing in double bogeys too often, so to be bogey-free and have no fives on the card and a course record is a nice start. “I putted well and it suits me that if you have a bit of length off the tee, you can cut a few corners and reach the par fives in two.” Lipsky, who will look back with regret on an eighth hole bogey, completed the trio behind Hoey on seven under by finding back-to-back birdies on the 17th and 18th holes. India’s Shiv Kapur is nicely poised just behind them on six under, while Englishman Matt Ford is one of eight in contention on five under after a round of 67. Kapur said: “You wake up in the morning hoping for a good day and I couldn’t have asked for a better result. It all comes down to holing a few putts and early on I managed to do that, which set the tone for the rest of the day.” Ryder Cup star Thomas Bjorn and t ournament ambassador Thongchai Jaidee are five shots behind Hoey but still in the mix if they can have a good weekend. Press Association Michael Hoey carded a course record 64 to lead the way at the True Thailand Classic after a low scoring opening day.