The inaugural Broken Hill Open Amateur teed off today (Friday 21 October) on the picturesque Broken Hill Golf and Country Club set amongst the red earth and native bushland of the Australian outback.
On a multi-seasonal weather day of sun and rain, wild southerly winds moved in around lunchtime as players were commencing the opening round of the two-day event and set the scene for difficult scoring conditions during the afternoon.
In the men’s section only three players broke 80, headed by Peter Hannah from Pelican Waters with a fine three-over 76. Broken Hill’s Ross Mackay trails by a stroke on 77 with Alexandra’s Peter Phillips a further shot back with a 78.
Local knowledge was the order of the first day in the handicap section with Broken Hill local, Ernie Wheeler leading the way with a nett (handicap reduced) score of 68 from a handicap of 19. Wheeler holds a two-stroke advantage from fellow Broken Hill member, Danny O’Connor and Thaxted Park’s Murray Chirgwin who both returned nett 70’s.
Broken Hill’s Jenny Stephenson heads the women’s section after an excellent 81 in the ever present gale to hold a four-stroke lead over Judy Scarrott from Curlewis. Recently crowned 2016 Victorian Senior Women’s Champion, Judy Kruger trails by a further two-strokes after an opening 87.
Outside of the stroke section leaders, the next best women’s nett score came from Yarrawonga’s Sharyn Wilson with a nett score of 76 from a handicap of 22.
Following the staging of the Victorian Men’s and Women’s Senior Amateur Championships earlier in the week at Mildura, a number of players have taken the opportunity to travel up to this unique and quintessential Australian outback town and experience the superbly presented Broken Hill layout which only became a santa-anna grass fairway and grass green course in the mid-1990’s.
With a quality course design, including the subtle routing of holes in a multitude of directions; backdrop of red earth foothills and native wildlife including emus and kangaroos wandering freely around the property, Broken Hill Golf and Country Club offers a truly special golf adventure.
Tomorrow’s second and final round will commence at 9am local time.
Click here for all Round 1 scores and the Round 2 draw.