Jake McLeod is in the top 20 in Mexico. Image: Getty
In his first experience with a World Golf Championship event, Jake McLeod treated himself well.
McLeod, the 24-year-old Queenslander who played in the field for the $ 10 million WGC Mexico Championship in Mexico City by winning the Australian PGA Tour's earnings of 2018, started with a one-par 70 at Club the Golf chapultepec.
He made three birdies and three bogeys to be in the top 20 of the standings, with fellow Queenslander Cameron Smith as the leading Australian.
Smith is eleventh in second place after a 69 with a long-distance bomb for bird on the 13th, but a double bogey out of the water at the par-three seventh hole.
Veteran Canberra pro Matthew Millar started with a 76 in just his second WGC tournament, and Marc Leishman struggled with a 77.
The big news of the day was the rise of three of the top players in the world – Rory McIlroy (63), Dustin Johnson (64) and Justin Thomas (66) – at the top of the leaderboard.
Meanwhile, in the Puerto Rico Open on the PGA Tour through the United States, Aaron Baddeley and Curtis Luck are connected – 20th after opening with two undersized 70s.
Andres Romero of Argentina leads there after an opening 66.