29 Jan 2021 | Professional golf |
Aussies shine again at Torrey
by Mark Hayes
Australian golfers’ happy relationship with Torrey Pines continued today with Rhein Gibson and Cam Smith within two shots of the early lead at the Farmers Insurance Open. Patrick Reed and Alex Noren lead at eight under, with youngster Scottie Scheffler poised at seven under, with the Australians among 12 players at six under and in a share of fourth on the US PGA Tour.
With three champions and five runners-up since 2010, it’s not uncommon to see the Aussie flag flying high in San Diego, and with Adam Scott (-5) and in-form pair Cam Davis (-2) and Matt Jones (-2) also handy, it’s again promising after round one.
But when you assess the nuances of the tournament – played on the relatively easy North Course and the occasionally savage South Course for the first two days – it doesn’t pay to judge until 36 holes are in the books.
All bar Jones of the above played the North Course today, with the South likely to be a beast tomorrow in forecast wild weather.
So that also leaves defending Champ Marc Leishman and fellow Victorian Cam Percy in the mix at -1 having played the South Course today.
Leishman played with compatriot and twice Torrey champ Jason Day today, but the Queenslander needed a birdie on the par-5 18th hole to salvage a 76 that left him a mountain to climb tomorrow starting at +4.
Aaron Baddeley is effectively in the same boat at +3, but John Senden’s task might be too much already with the veteran having signed for a 76 on the North Course.
Meanwhile, on the European Tour, South Australia’s Wade Ormsby (68) and Queensland’s Scott Hend (69) are prominent after round one of the Dubai Desert Classic.
Chasing South African Richard Sterne (64) and American Kurt Kitayama (65), defending champ Lucas Herbert (74) and West Australian pair Min Woo Lee and Jason Scrivener (both 75) have the task ahead of them already.
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