23 Feb 2023 | Amateur golf | Professional golf |
Local favourite shares Tasmanian Open lead
by Dane Heverin
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Tasmanian amateur Greg Longmore has jumped out to a share of the Tasmanian Open first-round lead at three-under par alongside Victorian pair Ben Eccles and Toby Walker, and Queenslander William Bruyeres at Launceston Golf Club.
Longmore was tipped by many of his counterparts to be a formidable force on his home course in the 54-hole Pro-Am event and he proved why with a birdie at the par 5 15th, a chip-in eagle at the par 4 16th and another eagle at the short par 5 17th to walk into the clubhouse with a round of 69.
More remarkable than Longmore’s late surge on Thursday is the fact he is on the golf course and playing to such a high standard two years after being critically injured in a fire at the distillery he was working at.
The former Tasmanian state team captain suffered burns to 40 percent of his body, and he was given only a 15 percent chance of surviving, but incredibly he was back on course at Launceston just more than four months after the accident. He marked his comeback with a 66 and he shared his story with Golf Australia at the time.
Professional Eccles also made a late charge to the top of the leaderboard with a four-hole stretch where he went birdie-par-eagle-birdie from holes 15 to 18.
That fast finish turned the 2015 NSW Open champion’s day around after he lost his way with a double bogey and two bogeys either side of the turn.
Amateur Walker was steady throughout his opening effort with only one dropped shot for the day.
The 23-year-old, who was a member of the victorious Victorian team at last year’s Australian Interstate Teams Matches, made three birdies in the opening six holes and was solid from then on.
Professional Bruyeres – who came top 20 at the Queensland PGA Championship in January 2022 - made five birdies in his round and reached the turn in 33.
In the women’s event, Tasmanian representative Hallie Meaburn is joined at the top of the leaderboard by New South Wales’ Isabelle Mansfield.
The pair produced one-over par rounds of 73 but the came in varying fashion with Meaburn making birdies at the first two holes, while Mansfield birdied two of the three closing holes to grab a share of the lead.
Royal Hobart member Meaburn comes from Tasmanian golfing royalty as she is the granddaughter of amateur legend Lindy Goggin and the niece of former world top 50 player Mathew Goggin.
There are six men sitting a shot off the lead with amateurs Andrew Spitty and Issac Batty, Tasmanian professional Simon Hawkes, and Victorian professionals Cameron Kelly, Ben Paine and Ben Ford all at two-under par.
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