Shanghai, April 19:

France’s Raphael Jacquelin fired a six-under 66 to snatch a one-stroke lead after a first round of the Asian Open in Shanghai on Thursday.

Ernie Els, who won the tournament by 13 strokes two years ago, was five shots off the pace at one-under-par 71. Els is chasing his first win of the year at the $2.3 million event after finishing second on Monday in the Verizon Heritage.

Jacquelin had seven birdies against just one bogey to head the field. Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen was one stroke off the pace after shooting a five-under 67, while Lee Sung of South Korea, Gregory Havret of France, and Australia’s Gavin Flint had rounds of 68.

Flint’s round included an eagle three on the par five second, one of just two eagles for the day.

Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie, who missed out on a place in the playoff at last year’s

Asian Open by a stroke, was among a group of six players at three-under-par 69, along with Australians Tony Carolan and Scott Hend, South Korea’s Park Jun-won, Peter Hanson of Sweden, and Taiwan’s Lin Wen-hong.

Defending champion Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano was at one-over 73, while fellow Spaniard and 2004 winner Miguel-Angel Jimenez had a 70. Sunday’s China Open winner Markus Brier of Austria shot one-under-par 71.

The Open is co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours.