Victoria’s Brett Coletta is keeping the heat on countryman Cameron Davis as the pair set the tone on the opening day of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, played at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Incheon, Korea.
After Davis shot an impressive 65 to lead after the morning round, Coletta responded with a 67 in the windy afternoon conditions to sit in a tie for 2nd alongside Japan’s Yuwa Kosaihira.
Perth’s Curtis Luck makes it three Aussies in the top 10, tied for 7th on 2-under, while Harrison Endycott struggled with his swing and was pleased to scramble and come in at even in a tie for 15th.
The remaining Australians are over par, with Anthony Quayle on 1-over in a tie for 22nd and Travis Smyth 2-over in a tie for 29th.
Much like Davis in the morning, Cotella bookended a quiet middle with a hot start and finish.
Coletta was 4-under through the opening seven holes and a birdie, birdie finish saw the Sandhurst member leap to the front page of the leaderboard.
“I was quite nervous when I came out to play so I didn’t know what to expect, but I was happy with my efforts coming in,” Coletta said.
“I had a bit of a plateau in the middle of the round but coming in with two straight birdies is nice and it will make dinner taste a little bit better.”
Coletta managed to avoid news of Davis’ opening round score until he made the turn, but his reaction to Davis’ efforts was surprising for an individual event with so much on the line.
“[Davis] actually hit his last putt when I teed off. I saw him walking off, but I didn’t know what he had but I knew he was playing well,” Coletta said.
“The first scoreboard I saw was on 9 and he was 7-under leading…you look at that and go ‘I’m so happy for him’ but you have to put your head down — you can’t look at that you have to focus on your own game. It’s so good to have an Australian leading as well.”
When pushed on whether he was hungry to catch his teammate in the hunt for a start at the US Masters, Coletta gave a brief but unequivocal answer.
“That’s the end goal, it's about playing well in this tournament.”
With the best score from the afternoon round, Coletta is looking forward to making the most of the calmer conditions tomorrow morning.
“I think I might be first player off and that’s really good…you can set the pace as there’s not really anyone to wait on,” Coletta said.
“You can pick up some good momentum, play well and get a good stretch of holes in. I’m looking forward tomorrow, especially in the plus-3 conditions this afternoon.”