Date: October 04, 2018
Author: Justin Falconer

AAC: Dave drains eagle for lead, record

Min Woo Lee took the early honours as the leading Australian in Singapore but Dave Micheluzzi had one more trick up his sleeve, the Victorian producing an outrageous walk-off eagle to snatch the outright lead and set a new course record at Sentosa.

After piping his drive down the par-4 18th at the New Tanjong Course still one stroke back of the leaders, Micheluzzi drained his pitch from the fairway for a 6-under 64 and the first round lead at the 2018 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship.

Micheluzzi’s eagle – along with six birdies throughout the day – saw him leapfrog 2015 champ Jin Cheng, Chinese Taipei’s Liu Yung-Hua and early pacesetter Lloyd Jefferson Go of the Philippines.

“I was working on my pitching last week and it was just the perfect three-quarter pitch shot,” Micheluzzi told the media, “and just lucky enough it went in.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever holed out on a par-4 on the last… so that’s a first!”

 

Lee, the field’s highest-ranked player signed for a 4-under 66 on Thursday morning, to be one of five players at that mark after the afternoon wave returned to the clubhouse.

Lee finished in style with a closing birdie on the 9th hole, his last of the day, after hitting the top of the flagstick from the fairway before nailing the downhill 20-footer.

“I had a stretch there from around the 2nd hole to the 5th hole where I could have made birdie on every hole,” Lee said after signing his card.

“Just missed a few putts, so I thought I left a few out there.”

Playing with the 2015 champ Cheng and Kiwi Daniel Hillier, who shared strokeplay honours at this year’s US Amateur, Lee started slowest in the morning’s marquee group.

“Daniel was 3-under early, Jin was 2-under early and I was square. It definitely was a motivational boost, for them to carry me early on,” said Lee.

“I know I’ve been finishing rounds really good, so I just thought I’d keep my head down.”

Starting on 10, Lee traded strokes at 14, 15 and 16 to be 1-under halfway through his round and a handful of shots behind early runaway leader Go, who at one point climbed to -7.

But birdies at the 1st, 6th and the big finish at the 9th saw Lee sign for an opening 66, just one stroke behind the leaders as the afternoon wave took to the course.

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Victorian State Team captain Zach Murray was the first of the Australians on course but couldn’t get the putter going in the morning, dropping a stroke late in his round to sign for an even-par 70.

Also at that mark is Shae Wools-Cobb, the Queenslander soaring to 4-under par with five holes to play before two bogies and a double on the way home dropped him back to even-par and T30.

Blake Windred (72) and Dylan Perry (73) battled hard in the afternoon, finishing at 2-over and 3-over respectively.

Follow the live scores from Singapore here.