20 Dec 2022 | Industry news |
Davis challenged by Kobori at Sandbelt Invitational
by Martin Blake
Cam Davis has come to Melbourne on a mission and the Sydney pro continues to lead the Sandbelt Invitational, despite a strong challenge from New Zealand pro Momoka Kobori.
Davis began today’s second round at Royal Melbourne leading by two shots and by day’s end he had extended the buffer to three at overall 11-under par.
He shot a 4-under 66 today with two birdies at the 17th and 18th to close out a round highlighted by an eagle at the par-5 4th hole.
Kobori, the 23-year-old Kiwi, shot a 5-under par 67 to lead he women’s pro event and sits at 8-under overall, within sight of a groundbreaking victory in the tournament.
South Australian amateur Jack Buchanan is outright third at 5-under par after shooting a 67 today.
“I got off to a great start with the wind being down a bit for the first six or seven holes,” said Davis. “I felt like I took advantage, then with a couple of the par-5s turned into par-4s I felt like I was playing really good golf and you’re not able to make any birdies out there because it’s getting really difficult with the gusty wind.
“A couple of really good putts at the end, scrambled (par) at 16, then good birdies on 17 and 18. I felt like that was a pretty good score out there this afternoon.”
Kobori reached a playoff at the TPS Hunter Valley event on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia earlier this year before losing to Aaron Pike, so she is no stranger to performing well in mixed company.
Playing alongside Davis today, she logged five birdies and went bogey-free.
“I really enjoyed it,” she said. “It’s been amazing to play in the same group as him. I feel like I’m taking a lot away from watching him play.”
Tournament host Geoff Ogilvy, who sits inside the top 20 after a 67 today, said the players were “spoilt” to experience the sandbelt classics.
“Everyone’s having a good time,” he said. “If somebody asked me before this ‘what would you have loved when you were a kid that wasn’t here?’ I mean we had a great set-up in Australia development-wise and a great experience, but we never really got to play with the pros.
There was always that big separation between amateurs and pros. You didn’t even get to meet them until after you crossed the river, if you like. It never made any sense to me. Now we put them in the same tournaments, that’s absolutely the best part of it. They’re young and they’re enthusiastic, their eyes are wide open and they’re enjoying Royal Melbourne like we’ve come to know and love.”
Tomorrow’s play is at Yarra Yarra with the final round on Thursday at Peninsula Kingswood.
Davis has previously played a Victorian Amateur at Yarra Yarra, but that was before the Tom Doak redesign of a few years ago, so he said he was “going in blind” for the third round as is Kobori, who has never played the course.
The final round is on Thursday at Peninsula Kingswood.
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