03 Mar 2022 | Professional golf |
Micheluzzi on top at damp Doon
by PGA of Australia
By Tony Webeck
Victorian David Micheluzzi has produced his best ball-striking display of the summer to take a one-shot lead on day one of the TPS Sydney presented by Webex at Bonnie Doon Golf Club. A 90-minute rain delay at 9.45am due to the intense showers that lashed Sydney on Thursday meant that the afternoon groups played late into the evening, Micheluzzi completing his round of five-under 66 just before 7pm. Lucas Higgins is one of a number of players who will complete his opening round on Friday morning, the young New South Welshman completing 16 holes at four-under par to be outright second and just one shot off the lead. Australian PGA champion Jed Morgan and the returning Brendan Jones were the best of the morning wave with rounds of three-under 68, Cameron John and Aaron Pike (through 16 holes) joining them in a share of third in the calmer afternoon conditions. Fourteen players are tied for seventh at three-under par with a total of 36 players within four shots off Micheluzzi’s round one advantage. Three top-10 finishes in his past five starts has Micheluzzi 10th on the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit, a day of hitting 17 of 18 greens in regulation enhancing his prospects of a major move by Sunday. “It was brilliant. One of my finest this season,” said Micheluzzi, who drove three of Bonnie Doon’s short par 4s on the back nine for birdies and charged home with three birdies in his final five holes. “Missed one green and got up-and-down and hit two par-5s in two. “Didn’t have a really great day with the putter to be honest but I just myself chances on the short par 4s and the par 5s and that’s where I got it done. “Just got to string four rounds together. I know I’ve been playing well, the results this year have been great, four rounds in the 60s and we’ll see what happens.” The first foreign player to amass ¥1 billion in career earnings on the Japan Golf Tour, Jones was something of a surprise co-leader early on day one. The 47-year-old has played just one competitive tournament since March 2020 to fall to 1,685 in the world having once been ranked as high as No.52. He has revelled in the opportunity to work for a landscaping company and spend time with his two sons for the past year but is now ready to down tools and take a final crack on tour. “I generally play my best fresh and can’t get much fresher than what I am,” said Jones, who warmed up for his competitive return by joining 11 mates on a golf trip to King Island. “I know I’m still good enough. I’ve got a new set of clubs and probably the best attitude I’ve had for a long time. “I don’t mean to sound big-headed but it felt like I did it really easily. “My tee-to-green doesn’t change and I know that when I do sharpen up the chipping and putting that I’m going to be competitive again. “That’s something to look forward to.”
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