It was a sea of red shirts on the first tee this morning, but the fashion snafu didn't stop Queensland’s Shea Wools-Cobb from grabbing the first round lead at the Avondale Amateur after an impressive 5-under par 71.
Despite the wardrobe clash, the Queenslander leads the tournament by one from his playing partners, New Zealand’s Henry Spring and England’s Brad Moore, who both posted matching 67’s. Sitting alongside them at four-under par is Englishman Jack Singh Brar. Canberra's Josh Armstrong joined them lat in the day with an impressive round as the weather began to turn.
Ballina’s Jay Mackenzie sits in a tie for sixth place at 3-under par alongside The Australian Golf Club’s Blake Windred.
Newly crowned Australian Amateur Champion Mathias Sanchez is in 15th position, among a group of players at 1 under par.
Wools-Cobb recorded six birdies and only a solitary bogey in his card. The 20-year old was pretty satisfied with his first-round effort and that of his playing partners.
“We pushed each other along. The putts kept falling; everyone was just getting in the groove,”
“It was pretty relaxed out there,” he smiled.
Wools-Cobb’s highlight was his birdie on the 16th hole.
“ I hit a knockdown six iron to 10ft and holed it. It got me to six under at that stage,” he smiled.
Englishman Bradley Moore didn’t get the opportunity to play a practice round on the Northern Sydney layout, instead relying on Avondale Junior Tom Luck to show him the way around.
“It’s my first time here. I didn’t get a practice round, so played it blind and it worked,
“I’m glad I had a good caddy. I think I’ll have him on the bag for the rest of the week now.” he smiled.
New Zealand’s Henry Spring didn’t look like joining in the antics of his playing partners until an inspired run over the final 12 holes ensured he will begin his second round still in the mix.
“I started off pretty bad, three over through six, but made seven birdies in my last 12,
“I like the layout. I like playing here in Sydney, nice grass, and the greens are always pretty good,” he said.
In the Women’s division, Ga-Young Lee has demolished the Avondale course record by three shots after carding a 9-under par 63. It’s the second course record in as many weeks for the Korean.
Lee, the 2016 NSW Amateur champion, was utterly clinical in her play around the Avondale layout, recording a blemish-free round of nine birdies, including an impressive three in a row to finish her round.
Sitting three shots behind Lee is Haeran Ryu, with Somin Lee in third position. A group of three players, Amy Chu from the Australian Golf Club, 2016 NSW Girl’s Champion Belinda Ji, and Gennai Goodwin sit in a tie for fourth at three under par.
When asked about her impressive scores, the 17-year-old Lee just grinned.
“I don’t have a secret,” She smiled. “I felt the conditions were good and I made no mistakes,”
“My second shots were exactly on the spot, and I putted very well.”
“I hope my good play will continue. I will try my best to the end,” she smiled.