Fri, Nov 30, 2018 - Page 16 News List

McLeod and Jager share one-stroke lead in Australia

Reuters, SYDNEY

Jake McLeod yesterday continued his strong home season with a six-under-par 66 to take a share of the lead alongside compatriot Matt Jager after the first round of the Australian PGA Championship at Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast.

Queenslander McLeod, who claimed his maiden professional title at the New South Wales Open earlier this month, rolled in six birdies in a bogey-free round to upstage a slew of bigger names at the European Tour cosanctioned event.

He and Western Australian Jager ended the day one stroke ahead of South Korea’s Eom Jae-woong and Australian Dimitrios Papadatos, who finished second at the Australian Open two weeks ago.

Australian No. 2 Marc Leishman was a stroke further adrift on four-under in a group five players that also featured Spain’s Adrian Otaegui.

McLeod finished third at the Australian Open at The Lakes course in Sydney and the 24-year-old credited his recent good form to the help of a new psychologist.

“I just need to stay really focused on the shot, and have a bit of a laugh out there and just stay relaxed,” said McLeod, who got off to a flying start with four birdies in six holes after teeing off from the 10th.

Jager also started brightly in brilliant sunshine from the 10th, grabbing eagles at the par-five 12th and 15th holes to make the turn at four-under before adding three birdies and a lone bogey to close out his round.

John Senden, twice a winner on the PGA Tour, was left fuming with officials at the ninth when his driver’s shaft snapped mid-swing at the tee and pinched his hand.

The veteran Australian was two-under-par when he lined at the tee, pulling the driver above his head, only for the shaft to snap near the grip as he brought it down toward the ball.

It left him off balance and shaking his hand after the club appeared to pinch him.

With no other driver in his bag, he was forced use an iron, with the air swing counting as a shot, which left many fans baffled.

Sendon ended with an even-par 72.

Additional reporting by AFP

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