MELBOURNE, Australia (January 7, 2016) - What a difference a day makes.
Strong winds at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club today made birdies a rarity and saw a major shake-up at the top of the leader board. There were only four sub-par rounds on day two of the 2016 Australian Master of the Amateurs Championship.
This was in stark contrast to Thursday's opening round when almost a third of the field finished “in the red."
American Ben Schlottman (Advance, North Carolina) is the new leader with consecutive rounds of 71. The 19-year-old credits his strong short game. He said this is the furthest he’s travelled for a tournament and knowing he can come so far and still play well gives him a lot of confidence for the future.
Thomas Power Horan playing his home course and Korean Sung-ho Yun also went under par joining Harrison Endycott to be one shot off the lead.
The first round leaders who teed off later in the day saw their scores blown away. Defending champ Zach Murray’s six under yesterday was eaten up by a 10 over round today; New Zealanders Jason Gulasekharam ballooned from 5-under to a 14-over round today and Daniel Hillier from a 5-under opening round followed by 10-over today.
Highly ranked American Aaron Wise (California) remains two shots off the lead after he followed his 5- under opening round with a 5-over today. Tournament Director Peter Mann said:
“This championship was always meant to test good golfers … it certainly did that today … and it will be good to see how the field backs up for the final two rounds."
DAY ONE REPORT
The 2016 Australian Master of the Amateurs got underway Thursday (a day ahead of U.S. timezones) at Australia’s famed Royal Melbourne Golf Club.
Defending champion Zach Murray has a one shot break on the field after his round of 66. Zac said he went into the event with the same game plan he had last year. His aim was to get out in front early and try to hold on. He said the course was playing the same as 2015 and he thought it would firm up and get tougher as the week goes on.
Californian Aaron Wise is one of five golfers just one shot off the lead. The world number 8 (The highest ranked player in the field) started his round with three birdies and a par before recoding an ace on the 161-metre fifth.
Wise said he tried to calm himself down as he walked to the 6th tee, but he ended up with a bogey. He held on for the remainder of his round to finish on five under. Aaron says like Zac, he’ll be trying to pick up early shots in the next rounds. It was the 19-year-old’s second hole-in-one; the first came when he was just 12 years old.
Melbourne golfer David Micheluzzi, Korean Young-woong Kim and New Zealanders Jason Gulasekharam and Daniel Hillier share second place with Wise.