Date: January 20, 2015
Author: Mark Hayes

Australian Amateur kicks off in tough conditions

The Australian Amateur Championship has begun in Sydney in tough conditions at both The Lakes and The Australian golf clubs.

More than 25mm of rain fell overnight in Sydney’s southern suburbs, and while the first groups out are battling only light drizzle, a gusting north-easterly breeze ins’t helping scoring early on.

As most of the morning groups approach the mid-point of their front nines most scorecards are already littered with bogeys.

But the standout at The Lakes is Queenslander Mitchell Smith, who has raced to two under through his first five holes, including threes on the 10th and 13th  holes and an impressive par on the super tough uphill 12th.

Across both courses there are 234 men, none of whom has a handicap higher than 0.8 – a figure down from 1.4 last year.

In the 78-strong women’s field, a quantum leap in qualification standards means a maximum mark of 1.8, down from 4.4 last year.

Each player will play 18 holes at each course over two days and the top 64 men and 32 women will advance to the matchplay phase beginning on Wednesday at The Australian.

Live scores: