Among the late starters at Sentosa Golf Club, the 22-year-old constructed one of the rounds of his career to hold a one-stroke lead on Thursday – thanks to a jaw-dropping eagle on the par-4 18th.

Micheluzzi found the hole with his pitching wedge, the product of pre-tournament practice.

"I was working on my pitching last week and it was just the perfect three-quarter pitch shot," he said.

The current World No.13 amateur upstaged favoured compatriot Min Woo Lee with a course record six-under 64 to top the leaderboard from Filipino Lloyd Jefferson Go, China's Jin Cheng and Liu Yung-Hua (Chinese-Taipei).

Micheluzzi defied hot, muggy conditions and an afternoon downpour to record six birdies before finishing with a flourish to more than complement Lee's impressive four-under 66.

Lee, the highest ranked player in the field at World No.10, finished in style with his fifth birdie after sinking a 20-foot downhill putt on the 9th.

RIGHT: Lee will begin the second round tied for fifth despite a cold putter. PHOTO: Stanley Chou/Getty Images.

The Fremantle-based 20-year-old felt he would have signed for an even better round had his putter not let him down.

"I thought I left a few out there," said Lee, who was in a marquee group featuring Jin, the 2015 Asia-Pacific champion.

Lee starts Friday's second round in a five-way tie for fifth.

Micheluzzi and Lee's promising start also has Australia handily placed in the team component while the individual winner earns a start in next year's Masters at Augusta.

Victorian captain Zach Murray and Shae Wools-Cobb made even-par 70s to be in a tie for 30th while Blake Windred (72) and Dylan Perry (73) rounded out the Australian contingent.

Wools-Cobb was left to rue a sloppy finish to his round after he slipped from four-under with five to play.

The Queenslander lost momentum with two bogeys and a double bogey on the run home.