Victorian Matthew Griffin made the most of the morning conditions to take opening-round lead in the Australian Open at the Lakes Golf Club in Sydney yesterday, with a bogey-free seven-under par 65.
Taiwan’s Yeh Wei-tze shot a satisfying first round, finishing 69 at three-under par alongside two-time Major champion John Daly and Australians Greg Chalmers and Steve Collins all tied in fifth place.
Starting on the first tee, Griffin birdied the second hole before completing three consecutive birdies on the sixth to eighth holes. Birdies on the 13th, 14th and 17th completed the 65.
“No blemishes. That does not happen too often,” Griffin said. “Almost the most pleasing thing is not to have a bogey. I was standing over a three-footer at the last and telling myself to make sure I got it.”
Griffin has played across the Asia-Pacific on OneAsia this year and is hoping for his first big win at the A$1.5 million (US$1.48 million) event, which is co-sanctioned by OneAsia and the PGA Tour of Australasia.
“This has definitely been my best round on OneAsia so far,” he said. “There are a lot of top quality players to beat this week, but if I play four rounds like today, I think we’ll be right there on Sunday.”
John Senden, the 2006 champion, is in second place following an impressive six-under par 66 as the wind picked up in the afternoon.
The Queenslander said he was pleased with his position.
“I had a good day. My preparation has been good and I feel like I’ve been playing well going into this event,” Senden said.
Alistair Presnell, who was in contention early at the JBWere Masters, is in third place at five-under par.
“I feel a lot better about my game this week. At the Masters I was not overly comfortable with it. I was thinking that if I made the cut, the week would be fine. This week I have done some work with my coach and have had a couple of weeks’ break,” Presnell said.
Nine players are tied in fourth place at four-under par including Geoff Ogilvy, Stuart Appleby, Peter Senior, Rod Pampling and Marc Leishman.