Date: December 11, 2008
Author: Adam Lucius, Sportal

Goggin out to make amends

Mathew Goggin has taken the first step towards burying one of his great career disappointments after grabbing a slice of the overnight lead in the Australian Open at Royal Sydney. The world No.70 shares top billing with little-known Western Australian Steve Dartnell and Sydneysider Ewan Porter after the trio shot course-equalling seven-under-par 65s in calm conditions at the Rose Bay course. Goggin is still beating himself up after throwing away a three-stroke lead at last week&aposs PGA Championship at Coolum, allowing Geoff Ogilvy to storm home and pinch the title. “I had an opportunity to put some pressure on Geoff and didn&apost and that was the most disappointing thing.” Goggin said after his confidence-restoring 65. “I&aposve felt like I&aposve had some chances to win this year and it hasn&apost been my fault (that I didn&apost) and I felt like that was my fault.” “I screwed this one up.” Goggin was on better terms with himself after a near faultless display at a surprisingly benevolent Royal Sydney. His round included an eagle on the 535m 16th and seven birdies. “It&aposs always nice to get back into the trench straight after playing well the week before,” he said. “Thursday can&apost come quick enough because you want to get back out there.” “I got off to a great start today which is nice.” “It&aposs only the first round there&aposs a lot of golf to play – but hopefully I&aposm in a similar position on Sunday.” The Tasmanian admits he is a lot tougher prospect than in the past thanks to a string of top five finishes on the US tour this year. “I believe in myself a lot more. (When) you keep putting yourself in a position to win tournaments against the best players in the world and continue to do it, your confidence grows and grows,” he said. “In the past when you&aposve had some bad runs you might be thinking you&aposve gone down a cog or two but I take it a bit more in my stride now.” Dartnell has been slogging away in near obscurity on the second-tier US Nationwide Tour and only won a spot in the Australian Open via Monday&aposs qualifying round after shooting 62 at New Brighton. He was surprised as anyone to find himself in with a share of the lead. “It was a good round, everything went well and I&aposd happy with the way I went,” he said. “My form was good coming in and it&aposs good to get off to a good start.” “You always play to win and it&aposs a good feeling when you play well and everything comes together.” The 24-year-old&aposs biggest challenge is backing up his impressive first round on Friday while dealing with the pressure of being co-leader of his country&aposs biggest tournament. “It&aposs (only) the first round and it doesn&apost really change how I think a lot,” he said. “At the moment I feel pretty calm.” Porter was in complete shock after ending a lengthy slump with a course-equalling round. He said of his unexpected success: “This is a total surprise. I&aposve been up and down all year, mainly down.” “It&aposs been very miserable to say the least. (This is) very exciting and I can&apost wait for the next three days.” Click here for more information on the 2008 Australian Open