<image="1" align="right" />
The first day of the NSW Open being played at The Vintage could not have had a better start. With the course in superb condition, scores improved as the day progressed.
Early leader, host Nathan Green, set the pace with a 7 under par, 64, having teed off early today with Stephen Bowditch and last year’s winner, Leigh McKechnie. Bowditch finished at 2 under par and McKechnie was disappointed with a 4 over, 75. However, by the end of the day, Green was relegated to 2nd on the leaderboard after South Australian Peter Cooke set a new course record of 10 under par, 61.
A feature of his round was the string of holes between the 14th and 7th (Cooke started on the 10th hole) where he picked up 2 eagles and 6 birdies for a phenomenal 10 under par over only a 12 hole stretch. Cooke has been playing well in recent tournaments and commented, “I’ve been happy with the way I’ve been playing the last 6 weeks and sometimes if you just keep plugging away you end up having a day like today!”
The leading amateur after the first round is Michael Smyth, the talented captain of the NSW State Team and a scholarship holder with the NSW Institute of Sport. His score of 68 has him lying equal 8th overall.
Other marquee players fared as follows:
Peter O’Malley (NSW) -6 to be outright 3rd overall Kieran Pratt (NSW) -3, tied 15th Tom Lewis (UK) -3, tied 15th Bradley Hughes (WA) -1, tied 35th
With the temperature expected to increase and the breeze to become a little stronger for tomorrow’s 2nd round, scoring is likely to be just as ‘hot’ as players vie for the final places to compete over the weekend for the NSW Open title.
The NSW Open is being held from 25-28 November at The Vintage, Hunter Valley.