It’s been done before and could be done again. 2004 Masters Champion Richard Green, a local from Williamstown is not a name that has been thrown around as a favourite at this week’s Talisker Masters but flying under the radar won’t worry the 41 year old.
In today’s opening round, Green shot 71 to be one under and six shots off leader Matthew Guyatt who turned in a seven under 65. Whilst not spectacular today, Green was solid for the majority of his round and quickly bounced back from his only bogey of the day on the 9th with birdies on the 10th and 12th.
Green came into Kingston Heath this week on the back of an impressive finish at the Barclays Singapore Open last week. The veteran who turned pro in 1992 tied for 14th alongside Phil Mickelson at five under in a field that included world no.1 Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, Francesco Molinari and winner Matteo Manassero.
“Going into this week I felt pretty confident off the back of Singapore last week where I played pretty well but I lost a bit of confidence playing in the Pro-Am yesterday. I didn’t play very well at all and didn’t know how I was going to get on today,” said Green.
“My expectations weren’t really high today which is good because you’ve got to treat this golf course with a lot of respect. I think I’ve now got myself back mentally in the place I want to be, I’ve just got to chip away at it this week. You need to take your opportunities when there’s a chance but otherwise you’ve got to play very carefully and keep the ball in play.
Adam Scott who shot an opening round 67 said in his press conference that conditions were calm and the course didn’t have its guard up this morning. Green agreed with the world no.5 but knows windier conditions are on the horizon.
“Very rarely have I played golf in Victoria without any wind. It was probably as easy as we’ll get it today in terms of the conditions. Our early tee time tomorrow morning might bring us some decent conditions but I wouldn’t like to be playing in the afternoon if the wind starts kicking in. I think Saturday there’s some strong winds forecast.”
Green will play with defending Champion Ian Poulter who is tied for second at five under and fellow Victorian and Masters Champion Stuart Appleby again in round two with a 7:40am scheduled tee time off the 10th.
Green said on his expectations for the remainder of the tournament, “I’m just going to keep chipping away at it. I’m not going to go out there and expect to make birdies everywhere. I’m just going to chip away and get it done.”
Stuart Appleby finished tied with Green at one under after surrendering a double-bogey on the 18th. Just 34 players of the 120 field managed to break even par in round one.
By: Greg Oakford