Date: April 04, 2019
Author: David Greenhill

Brennan right at home in NT

Queensland’s Cassie Porter and local Alex Brennan lead the respective women’s and men’s fields after the first round of the Northern Territory Amateur Championship at the Alice Springs Golf Club.

Brennan, a 41-year-old policeman playing on his home course, was thrilled with his opening five-under 67, which was good enough for a one-stroke lead over Sydney’s John Lyras and one of just five sub-par scores.

“It’s my best ever round here,” beamed Brennan, winner of the Australian Police Golf Championship in 2018 and fourth in this year’s event played recently on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula.

“I hit it well and holed lots of putts. I’m completely thrilled.”

Brennan went out in three-under 33, before three birdies and a bogey on the way home enabled him to stave off Lyras, a 22-year-old from St Michaels in southern Sydney who caught fire on the inward nine with an eagle at the par-five 10th followed by birdies on the 13th and 16th.

NT representative Jake Hughes and Royal Queensland’s Zach Maxwell share third a further stroke behind at 69.

Defending women’s champion Porter enjoyed being in the first group out with a birdie at the first and an eagle at the par-five second on her way to outward half of 34.

The 16-year-old from Peregian on the Sunshine Coast was steady through most of the back nine, but suffered a bogey at the 16th before a closing birdie at the short par-four 18th that gave her a three-under-par total of 70.

Porter leads by three strokes from The Australian’s Stefanie Hall who fired an even-par 73, with Victorian Steffanie Vogel a further two strokes behind after a 75.

“I was pleased with how I played,” Porter said.

“Just solid really.”

First played in 1980, the championship has returned to the Red Centre in 2019.

The second round of the 72-hole championship continues tomorrow from 7am.