If there were any nerves about Louise Mullard’s Australian Mid Amateur title defence, there was zero evidence to support it on day one in South Australia.
The New South Wales star was nothing short of sensational in carding a three-over-par 74 at the picturesque Vines Golf Club at Reynella south of Adelaide to lead by no fewer than 12 strokes.
Mullard, who represents Morisset Golf Club in southern Newcastle, almost put the result beyond doubt with one birdie against just four bogeys to scoot clear.
But on the men’s side, it’s a totally different story with 24 players within four shots of the lead.
The day’s best score of one-over 73 was shared by New Zealander Dale Clarke, Tasmanian Greg Longmore and Phil Chapman, a member of the nearby Aston Hills Golf Club at Mt Barker.
Chapman, among the leaders, was the player who closed out his round best with a birdie-birdie finish to vault forward as the others found the back nine tougher than the front.
The front nine looms as the most likely to create gaps in the field with two reachable par-fives – the first and ninth – which gave up a combined 53 birdies and four eagles on day one.
The Australian Mid-Amateur Championship is conducted over 54 holes between players aged from 30-54.