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28 Nov - 1 Dec, 2024

02 Dec 2022 | Australian Open | All Abilities |

Popert lives up to No. 1 billing

by Australian Golf Media

Kipp Popert.

By Alexander Dabb

Kipp Popert leads the field after a tightly contested battle on the first day of the Australian All Abilities Championship.

World No. 1 Popert finished the day at 1-under par, one shot ahead of fierce rival and world number two Brendan Lawlor (even), and was pleased with the consistency he displayed.

“I played really solid, just committed to my lines, so it was just one of those… yeah, it was nice,” he said.

“I was really pleased, I just plodded along, there’s always if, buts and maybes, but I was really pleased with my last shot, a 6-iron into the last, I absolutely crunched that.”

After bogeying consecutive holes at the 15th and 16th, Popert birdied the final two holes to retain the lead he established early on.

“I was just thinking you know if I could get a couple in or one in, that’d be nice. It’s a very long way to go, so we will just keep plodding along and see where we end up.”

Englishman Mike Browne, Spaniard Juan Postigo and Canadian Kurtis Barkley are all tied for third place, two shots back from Popert.

Despite having a large chasing pack within striking distance, Popert is showing no signs of nerves, with his plan for tomorrow to “wake up, play golf and just see what happens”.

Leading Aussie Cameron Pollard (+5) is six shots back from the lead, while defending champion Johan Kammerstad (+6) of Sweden is seven shots back with plenty of work to do if he is to claim his third consecutive title.

Veteran Australian Geoff Nicholas (+9), who has played in an able-bodied Australian Open as a professional at Kingston Heath, was impressed with the crowd that assembled at Victoria Golf Club to watch all three competitions.

“The crowds here are sensational, Melbourne always bring out the best.”

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