A slashing inward nine has given Will Heffernan the first-round lead at the 110th Riversdale Cup.
Heffernan, capping a good day for Royal Melbourne which also has Darcy Brereton and the impressive Matias Sanchez in the top five, poured in five birdies from the second through the ninth to cap a superb opening six-under round of 66 at Riversdale Golf Club.
The 2017 Portsea Amateur winner leads by two over rising Sydneysider Nathan Barbieri and a pair of Queenslanders in Doug Klein and Jarrod Stirling.
Alongside the Victorians at three under and a share of fifth are South Australian Jack Thompson, Queenslander Connor Edmonds and West Australian pair Ben Ferguson and Haydn Barron.
Heffernan, who began his round on the 10th, endured three bogeys, highlighting just how dangerous his short game can be in making eight birdies to seize control.
Of the chasing pack, Klein remarkably hit all 18 greens in regulation for the first time in his young career.
“It was one of those days when the ball-striking was pretty good … and I was lucky enough to make a few five-footers on return putts when I missed the birdie tries, so it was a nice day. I hope I can have a few more like it,” said Klein a pupil of Sunshine Coast-based coach Wayne Rostron.
“I’m happy with how my game has improved, but Wayne’s just working on the mental side of things now, so when I can get that ironed out, everything’s going OK.”
Ferguson, in his second Riversdale Cup, said a win would be huge before he tried to emulate his successes, particularly in Europe, of 2017.
“I’m still trying to get the monkey off my back with a national ranking series win. I’ve been close a lot of times and it’s just a matter of getting over the line for a win soon,” the WA state representative said.
The second of four rounds will be played tomorrow with free entry.