Victorian Matthew Griffin will take a one-shot lead into day two of the Australian Open presented by Century 21 after firing a sizzling seven-under par 65 at The Lakes Golf Club on Thursday. The 27-year-old took full advantage of the benign conditions that greeted the morning groups, posting seven birdies and no bogeys to set the early pace before strong winds lashed the revamped layout. Former Stonehaven Cup winner John Senden leads the chasing pack after defying the blustery afternoon conditions with a superb six-under 66. Senden, who also kept his card blemish free, birdied the par-three 18th to move one clear of Victorian Alistair Presnell who signed for a 67 earlier in the day. Geoff Ogilvy stormed home with an eagle-birdie finish to share fourth spot with eight other players. It was a rollercoaster back nine for the former US Open champ who also made an eagle at the par-five 11th before donating both shots back with consecutive bogeys at the 12th and 13th. Pre-tournament favourite Adam Scott was unable to match his playing partner&aposs efforts and will need a low round on Friday morning in order to survive the halfway cut after an opening three-over 75. Reigning Senior Australian Open champion Peter Senior continued his strong recent form to join the logjam at four under, while Stuart Appleby is equally well positioned after signing for a 68. Larger than life American John Daly is also lurking ominously after opening with a 69 that included six birdies and three bogeys. England amateur Tom Lewis, who lost in a playoff at last week&aposs NSW Open, is one of 11 players at two under after another impressive display. American veteran Fred Couples overcame a shaky start to post an even-par 72 after playing alongside Greg Norman and Appleby in the morning session. It was a disappointing day for Norman who was unable to capitalise on a strong start, dropping five shots in as many holes including a double-bogey seven on the par-five eighth to post a 74. The Shark, who started his round on the back nine, was at three under through 12 holes before bogeys at the fourth, fifth and seventh holes ruined his card. Despite his disappointing finish, the 55-year-old still managed to thrill the healthy galleries that followed him around the testing Lakes layout, producing a brilliant 210m shot across the water off a sever downhill lie to set up birdie at the 14th. After somehow getting play underway as scheduled on day one despite receiving 70mm of rain on Wednesday, tournament organisers could again be tested on Friday with possible thunderstorms predicted to arrive in the afternoon. Scattered showers are also forecast while temperatures are expected to reach 24 degrees.
Author: Steve Orme at The Lakes Golf Club, Sportal