19 Dec 2022 | Industry news |

Red hot Davis shoots to early Sandbelt lead

by Martin Blake

Cam Davis Sandbelt image
Cam Davis tips his hat after another birdie at Kingston Heath. Photo: Geoff Ogilvy Foundation

Marquee player Cam Davis has started the Sandbelt Invitational with a thundercrack, jumping to the lead with a 7-under par 65 at Kingston Heath today.

Davis, the world No. 67 and a Presidents Cup player this year, rolled in six birdies to go with an eagle at the par-5 9th hole to seize the advantage in good conditions on day one of the event run by Geoff Ogilvy’s foundation.

His only bogey of the day came at the par-4 third hole where he three-putted from close range.

It is Davis’ first appearance in the event which is in its second year, a trip to Melbourne that crystalised in his mind at the same time that he shared the locker room with Ogilvy at the Presidents Cup in North Carolina earlier in the year (Ogilvy was a vice-captain of the International team).

The 27-year-old Davis said he found momentum after a slowish start. “I hit the ball really nicely actually,” he said. “The swing felt horrendous on the range this morning. It felt like I was knocking off some rust after a couple of days off, but really good. I worked my way into it. Missed a couple of short putts early, I had to hit them a bit harder coming in. I had a cruisy tee-to-green today and made a couple of mid to long-range putts coming down the stretch.”

With no ropes in place, the fans were allowed to walk the fairways up close to the 72 players competing and Sydneysider Davis enjoyed the more relaxed vibe.

“I love the idea of a competitive round of golf when it’s almost dead quiet out there, a couple of people getting inside the ropes action, even though there aren’t any ropes here,” he said.

“We’re obviously playing some of the best courses in the world this week as well, so it’s really cool to share that with a bunch of people on the fairway. It’s a more relaxed but a very competitive atmosphere. I love it.”

Davis leads by two shots from the recent Australasian Tour winner Tom Power-Horan who shot a 5-under par 67 in round one, with New South Wales amateur Jye Pickin in third after a 68 today.

Davis said the notion of the Sandbelt Invitational appealed to him. “I love the idea of it. The amateurs, women and men all playing together, I feel like this is a great environment that I would’ve loved when I was coming up as an amateur, getting some experience from the pros.”

Tomorrow’s second round is at Royal Melbourne West, with Yarra Yarra and Peninsula Kingswood Country Club also hosting rounds of the 72-hole event.


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