18 Mar 2022 | Professional golf |
Logjam at NSW Open
By Golf NSW
The scores were low and there is a monumental logjam at the top after day one of the Golf Challenge NSW Open at Concord Golf Club. Nine players shot brilliant seven-under rounds of 64 which is lower than the course record of 65 held by Ewan Porter, but none of them can claim the record because lift-clean-place rules were in place due to the wet conditions. St Michael’s amateur Harrison Crowe is among the leading cluster of players along with Queenslanders Anthony Quayle, Charlie Dan and Jake McLeod, Western Australian Jarryd Felton, Queensland-based Victorian Deyen Lawson, and New South Welshmen Dimi Papadatos, Darren Beck and Jordan Zunic. Another Queenslander, Andrew Dodt, is at six-under and just a shot from the lead. The sun shone all day in western Sydney and the players welcomed the better conditions, albeit that the remnants of the past few days’ rain had not evaporated, reflected in the squelchy conditions underfoot. There are some strong reputations among the leading group, with Papadatos, Quayle and Felton having won events on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia this season already. Papadatos, who won the Vic Open earlier this season, is clinging to his top-three position in the tour order of merit with its DP World Tour lure, but he is enduring an extraordinary week for a pro golfer. He is best man in his friend and fellow-pro Lincoln Tighe’s wedding tomorrow in Wollongong. He will make the trip south immediately after finishing round two tomorrow morning. In context of the strength of the leaderboard, the 20-year-old Crowe’s seven-birdie performance is impressive. The reigning NSW Amateur champion and twice previously Victorian Amateur champion, Crowe set the pace with an early tee-off, and relished the opportunity to play another professional tournament as he ponders his own future. Recent appearances in pro tour events have helped his nerves. "I felt a lot more comfortable coming into this week after the last couple of weeks in pro events,” he said. “It's a bit different to amateur golf but the nerves have tamed down a little bit." Crowe said he wanted to stay as an amateur for a while longer, even though he appears to be ready for pro status. "I feel like it's creeping up," he said. "I just don’t want to rush it at the same time. I've got a full year of amateur golf and a lot going on." Round two begins at 7.30am tomorrow at Concord.
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