Date: January 17, 2018
Author: Mark Hayes

MEN’S WRAP: Bolters nab #AusAm spotlight

LIVE SCORES:    Men   Women

Three ultra-talented bolters stole the limelight on the first day of the men’s Australian Amateur Championship, presented by Swinging Skirts.

Young New South Welshman Darcy Boyd, ranked No.3967 in the world amateur standings but the 2016 NSW mixed foursomes champ, fired a stunning seven-under-par 65 at Lake Karrinyup to take the lead after the first of two stroke play qualifying days.

Boyd, of beachside Toukley on the Central Coast, opened his shot at the national title with six birdies and an eagle against just one bogey on the famous Perth layout to take a one-shot lead over two other unexpected rivals.

Victorian Jack Murdoch, ranked No. 928, has shown more than the occasional glimpse of brilliance in the past couple of years, but took centre stage with a 66 at nearby Wanneroo with a barnstorming finish to share second.

But his cohort at six under has not yet cracked it for a mention in the world amateur rankings.

Mandurah’s Connor McKinney, a 15-year-old whose family has emigrated recently from Scotland, carded the same six-under total on the course making its national championship debut.

McKinney’s previous best round had been 67 at nearby Joondalup, so he was thrilled to break new ground.

“I can’t believe that happened here (at this event),” a stunned McKinney said.

“It’s great and … I hope I can back it up again tomorrow.”

But there are plenty of higher profile chasers with the field to be cut to the top 64 for match play after tomorrow’s second round.

Pre-tournament fancies David Micheluzzi, of Victoria, and towering Canadian Hugo Bernard each carded impressive 68s at Wanneroo to join the Lake Karrinyup pair of New South Welshman Nathan Barbieri and hometown hero Min Woo Lee, who thrilled a large gallery with a stirring back-nine salvo.

Capping a solid day for New South Wales, James Grierson and Blake Windred are also among the top 10 after opening 69s, while state player Josh Armstrong, a Canberran who commutes to Sydney for club golf, impressed in his ongoing return from a knee injury with an opening 71.

LIVE SCORES:    Men   Women