Had they been part of the Emirates Australian Open field, Johan Kammerstad and Chad Pfeifer would have beaten six players Friday, including four-time major winner Ernie Els.
Instead, their 5-over rounds of 76 in the Australian All Abilities Championship, presented by ISPS Handa, sees them share the lead after a tense day on The Australian Golf Club layout.
Pfeifer and Kammerstad are among 12 All Abilities golfers teeing up in the second edition of the Championship at The Australian and proved a match for the tricky Rosebery layout.
Kammerstad posted a double bogey and three bogeys in his round while Pfeifer fought back from a four-over front nine with an impressive inward journey of one-over 37.
“I got off to a rough start,” he said after the round.
“We started on the tougher of the two nines but I got off to a really good start on the first with a par.
“But I got a little squirrely on two and ended up making a double there then made a bogey on three when I missed a short putt.
“I think I was still a little nervous to be honest. It’s a big occasion and I think we were all a bit nervous, even if some don’t admit it.”
Pfeifer, a plus two handicap player from Idaho, said he while he felt he could have scored better he was pleased with his position in the tournament.
“To be sharing the lead after one round…that’s where you want to be,” he said.
“I’m excited for the next couple of days. I won’t change anything about my mindset, I’ll just keep trying to play my game and make as good a score as possible.”
The scores in the Australian All Abilities ranged from the leader at 76 to a disappointing 90 for Daphne van Houten, the first woman to tee up in an Australian Open field.
Van Houten, from Holland, said after her round that she had felt the pressure of making history but was determined to improve her score over the weekend.
“It was a fantastic experience,” she said. “I was really, really nervous especially at the start with all the people around the first tee and being announced in the first tee.
“I tried not to think about the history and all that but it was hard and I did feel it. But I also really enjoyed it even though the score was not my best.”
The Australian All Abilites Championship continues tomorrow. Click here for the full leaderboard.