American Bobby Gates overcame an Australian wildlife experience to shoot an 8-under-par 64 and earn a share of the first-round lead at the Australian PGA.
Gates, level with Australian Andrew Buckle and two strokes ahead of three others, birdied the 17th and 18th holes yesterday to pull him into a share of the lead. His birdie putt on 18 was from about 45 feet.
Earlier, Gates had to wait on the par-3 14th while course marshals attempted to scare away a kangaroo that was near the front of the tee. After the delay, Gates pulled his tee shot into the water and took bogey after hitting his shot from the drop zone to six feet and making the putt — although he blamed shifting wind more than the misplaced marsupial.
“It was kind of fun to watch ... pretty cool,” he said. “I think the wind was more a factor out there ... it didn’t end up very well.”
China’s Liang Wenchong, Steve Bowditch, who grew up a few kilometers from the course, and 1983 Australian Open winner Peter Fowler were tied for third with 66s.
Geoff Ogilvy, who won last week’s Australian Open, shot 70, defending champion Robert Allenby 70 and American John Daly 71.
Adam Scott had a rough start, shooting a quadruple-bogey 8 on the 13th after beginning his round on the 10th. He put two balls in the water on the pond-lined hole and shot 40 on the back nine en route to a 73.