Dougherty mixed nine birdies with two bogeys in Melbourne
FIRST ROUND LEADERBOARD:
-8 A Pike (Aus)
-7 N Dougherty (Eng), P Wilson (Aus)
-6 R Jacquelin (Fra)
-3 J Rose (Eng)
-1 P Casey (Eng)
+3 S Appleby (Aus)
Nick Dougherty carded a fantastic seven-under-par 65 at the Australian Masters at Huntingdale but had to settle for second spot after round one.
Australian amateur Aaron Pike equalled the course record with an eight-under 64 to eclipse his English rival.
"I played lovely, I really did. I drove the ball fantastic, my iron play was world-class," said a happy Dougherty.
"I didn't putt great but I made a couple of good ones on my back nine, so all-in-all, I'm very pleased."
Dougherty's round could have been even better. He failed to pick up a stroke on the short par-five 10th and made bogeys on a pair of par-threes - the 15th and third holes.
Australian Peter Wilson joined Dougherty at seven-under, while Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin bogeyed his last hole - the ninth - before signing off on a 66.
Justin Rose was in contention on three under while fellow Englishman and Ryder Cup star Paul Casey was two shots further back.
Pike stole the spotlight when he birdied his last four holes to equal the course record and jump to the top of the leaderboard.
"If you can shoot 64 in the first round, realistically you can do it every day," said Pike, who was a promising cricketer before taking up golf when he was 16.