05 Feb 2021 | Professional golf |
Pros shred Legends course
Co-leaders Cameron John and Dimi Papadatos are expecting the Moonah Links Legends course to bite back hard after players used benign conditions to plunder birdies and eagles in round one of the Victorian PGA Championship on Thursday.
New South Welshman Josh Clarke shot to prominence when he established a new course record of nine-under 63 in the morning wave but with a rare calm day placing the course at their mercy John and Papadatos set a new benchmark with matching rounds of 10 under 62. Queensland’s Aaron Wilkin closed with consecutive birdies to join Clarke in a tie for third at nine under with David McKenzie, Blake Windred and James Marchesani all a shot further back after posting eight-under 64 in their opening rounds. A member at both Commonwealth Golf Club in Melbourne and more recently Peninsula-Kingswood, John has extensive experience playing the courses of the Mornington Peninsula and conceded that the conditions for scoring on Thursday could not have been better. And that the predicted forecast for Friday was unavoidable. Heavy rain, strong winds and possible thunderstorms are all expected but John says good scoring will still be possible for those who approach it in the right manner. “Today’s conditions were as good as it will ever get down here,” said John, whose best score in an ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia-sanctioned event is 11-under 60 in the 2018 Morobe Open in Papua New Guinea. “It wasn’t windy so it was a matter of just looking at the holes and if you put a decent swing on it it’s not going to move off line. “(Bad weather) is bound to happen once probably every week you come down here. If you come down here for a week one day’s going to be bad. You’ve just got to grin and bear it and hold onto your hat as much as you can. “I’m sure the scores won’t be as good tomorrow but if I hit it as solid as I did today it’s always an opportunity to shoot a really good number.” Papadatos opened the Gippsland Super 6 tournament a fortnight ago with a six-under 66 and used an eagle at his opening hole – the par-five ninth – to get into stride quickly at Moonah Links. “I knew the scoring was good so I was aware that even though I was probably 5-under pretty early I needed to keep pushing on from there,” said Papadatos, who set up his opening eagle by hitting 3-iron from 215 metres to 10 feet. “It’s a good position to be in but I still had a lot of opportunities so I wanted to make the most of my round. I made quite a few birdies going out and then I had the easier nine coming in so I wanted to make sure I made the most of it to finish off the round.” A total of 31 players began their Vic PGA campaigns with rounds of five under or better.
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