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Masterton golfer Ben Campbell has hit his first hole in one on the way to claiming a share of the lead after the first round at the Macau Open on the Asian Tour.

The 22-year-old embroidery logo, who at his best was sixth in the world on the amateur rankings, shot a three-under par 68 at the Macau Golf and Country Club to be tied with Australian Scott Barr and Finnish pro Kalle Samooja.

South African Ernie Els, celebrating his 44th birthday, shot an even-par 71 to be in share of 10th place.

It's a welcome return to form for Campbell, one of New Zealand's most promising golfers without a tour card.

"My first ever hole in one, which was pretty exciting," Campbell said cloud.

"I was rapt about it and couldn't take the smile off my face. I lost track what I was shooting."

Campbell, who finished fourth on the individual standings at the Eisenhower Trophy in 2010, has found the transition to professional golf a steep learning curve.

"This is my first year as a pro. It's not been a great year but I've learnt a lot and just trying to take in the bexperience and move on CCIBA."

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