20 Aug 2021 | Professional golf |

Antcliff on top in Czech Masters

by Contributor

Mav Antcliff Czech image
Maverick Antcliff on his way to the lead in the Czech Republic today. Photo: Getty

By European Tour Media

Australia’s Maverick Antcliff grabbed a share of the lead at the European Tour’s Czech Masters overnight.

Antcliff, 28, had six birdies and one bogey in his opening 67 to top the leaderboard with Sweden’s Henrik Stenson at five under par.

"I’m very happy with the score," the Queenslander said. "There were a couple of swings I’m not overly happy with - my commitment - I’ve been working hard on the swing, I need to keep on working hard.

"I still managed to miss in the right places and kept it tidy around the greens and the putter was working fine today.

"I’m happy with the score and the progress I’m making. Commitment can be a little better and confidence can definitely be a little bit better."

Antcliff romped to the Order of Merit title on the China Golf Tour in 2019 to earn his place on the European Tour and had his best finish earlier this season as he finished second at the Canary Islands Championship.

"I'm just trying to stay patient, it’s all the clichés: patience, taking it one shot at a time, staying present, that’s what I tried to do today, really," he said. "Fairways, greens, hole a couple of putts. Take opportunities when you get them."

Antcliff made the most of the par-five first and hit a stunning approach into the fifth but three-putted the ninth to turn in 35.

Another smart approach into the 11th was followed by an excellent up and down on the next and when he holed an 11 footer on the 14th he was alongside the morning leaders.

He holed out from 172 yards on the 17th, leaving himself a tap-in from less than six inches to take the lead.

MEANWHILE a few days after his near-miss in Greensboro, Adam Scott has bobbed up in contention again a the first playoff event of the PGA Tour season in America, the Northern Trust.

Scott shot a 67 to put himself in the top 10 at Liberty National, just four shots from the lead and inside the top 10.

He missed a four-foot putt to win the Wyndham Championship last Sunday but he was back on song today. “Fairly clean card. Would have liked to have made a couple more putts, but on a day like today when it’s stress-free, you’re pretty happy,’’ said Scott.

The Australian said he had “good vibes” at the New Jersey course despite his failure to close out in Greensboro.

“Obviously very disappointed not to win when it was all on my putt, but good to have those kind of feelings again. It’s certainly motivation to play well this week and get in that winner’s circle.”

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