Twin 64s have given Aussies Oliver Goss and Adam Crawford the whip hand in the Web.com Tour’s Karibana Championship.
Both men took advantage of slightly less windy morning conditions in northern Colombia to peel off a combined 11 birdies and three eagles to share a two-shot lead.
Golf Australia rookie pro Goss said he was “really pleased” with his round, saying his junior days playing on windswept Perth courses had stood him in good stead.
“I can’t complain with 64 in the opening round – I knew I had to take advantage of the morning conditions with the wind picking up in the afternoon.
“It’s going to be difficult playing in 30-40 mile-an-hour winds wherever you play … but I grew up playing a lot in the wind and it could be an advantage this week.”
Goss, who began his round on the 10th, took advantage of four of the five par-5s on the TPC Cartagena course, most of which were downwind.
By the time he nailed a 9-iron to just over 1m on the 8th, his 17th hole, the young West Australian had set up his lowest round on tour and just one shy of his personal best 63.
“Each one (of those par-5s) you need to take advantage of, and I just hit a smooth 9-iron (on the eighth) from 180 yards to pin to about 4 feet … so it was a close putt for eagle,” he said.
Crawford equally praised his upbringing in windy golfing conditions.
“It certainly helps a lot – we play in wind pretty much every day from lunchtime onwards, not as windy as this, but you’ve got to learn to flight the ball well,” he said.
Crawford began with a bogey on the first and didn’t get into red figures until he, too, eagled the eighth.
But the affable Queenslander lit up the back nine and closed birdie-eagle to join his younger compatriot.
Melbourne’s Steve Allan (68 to be T13 at -4) and Tasmanian Mathew Goggin (68 to be T29) continued their impressive starts to the Web.com Tour season.
Brett Drewitt (68) and Bryden Macpherson (71) were also under par, while New South Welshmen James Nitties and Aron Price each fired even-par 72.