Date: January 09, 2019
Author: Kirsty Wrice

Nakajima, Kay lead Master of Amateurs

ning #AusAm champion Keita Nakajima has continued his love affair with Australia to lead the Australian Master of the Amateurs after Round 1.

Nakajima, from Japan, blitzed around Australia’s No.1 Ranked course, Royal Melbourne, with a fine 6-under-par 66 to take a one-shot lead over the world-class amateur field.

World No. 4 Matthew Wolff opened with a cool five-under-par 67 to hold outright second, with Australian youngsters Connor McKinney and Andre Lautee a further shot back to share third.

However, if not for a collection of bogeys in his opening three-under-par round, the day would have belonged to Sydney’s Justin Warren who recorded two eagles in his opening nine, highlighted by an ace on the par-3 5th.

Defending champion and Australia’s highest ranked amateur and David Micheluzzi is well placed after an one-under-par 71, while World No. 1 Amateur Justin Suh struggled on the Sandbelt layout with an opening two-over-par 74.

Queensland’s Becky Kay separated herself from the 48-woman field early on day one with an opening three-under-par 69 to equal the women’s course record.

Kay, 19-years-old, made a bogey on the first hole but a succession of birdies quickly put the Gold Coaster’s day back on track to hold a one-shot buffer over Sydney’s Steph Kyriacou with a further shot on World No. 80 Julienne Soo, of Victoria.

“It’s early days and there are a lot of great players here,” Kay said post round.

“Anything can happen but I know what you have to do to win. If I keep playing the golf I know I can play it could be a good week.”

Recent ANNIKA Invitational champion Grace Kim is one of five players at even-par including NSW duo Amy Chu and Bella Kil, Jieni Li and Ya Eun Hong.

Follow scores here.