MARK'S POINT, NSW, Australia (January 23, 2016) -- Ben Ferguson posted 72 today, and has a legitimate chance to go wire-to-wire with just 18 holes left to play in the Men's division of the Lake Macquarie Amateur.
Ferguson made four bogeys today, which is as many as he recorded in the first two rounds. (His opening 65 continues to be the lowest round posted in the tournament.) He offset the blemishes on his card with four birdies, providing a single stroke margin over Harrison Endycott, a quarterfinalist in the recently-held Australian Men's Amateur who also finished T9 at the Master of the Amateurs. He should provide plenty of heat in the final group.
In the Women's championship, it's recent Australian Women's Amateur champion Min-Ji Park at the top, also by the slim margin of a single stroke.
MARK'S POINT, NSW, Australia (January 22, 2016) -- West Australia's Ben Ferguson is the leader at the halfway mark of the Lake Macquarie Amateur, played at Belmont Golf Club in NSW.
In rainy conditions, Ferguson managed four birdies and two bogeys in his round of 70 that increased his total to 9-under par.
A shot behind Ferguson is Briton Bradley Moore, who shot his second consecutive round of 68.
Simon Liddell is WA’s next best placed in a tie for 16th after an outstanding second round of 67 that featured eagles on the 9th and 10th holes.
Royal Fremantle’s Min Woo Lee is a shot back of Liddell in a tie for 20th while Kiran Day is T24 on 1-under par.
In the Women’s, Hannah Green remains in the top 10 after an even par second round to remain on 1-under par. She is seven shots behind leader Hye-Jin Choi.
ROUND ONE SUMMARY
Ben Ferguson has made the most of the ideal morning conditions at Belmont Golf Club to lead the Lake Macquarie Amateur after the opening round.
Ferguson fired seven birdies and an eagle on his way to a 7-under par round of 65, leading by a shot over NSW’s Daniel Kolar with James Grierson of NSW and Cameron John of Victoria tied for third on 5-under.
The women’s event is being dominated by a strong international contingent; with last week’s Australian Amateur champion Min-Ji Park leading the way on 5-under.
Robyn Choi of Queensland is the closest Australian, sitting fourth on 3-under while WA’s Hannah Green is the only other Australian in the top 10 on 1-under and tied for 8th.
Men’s leader Ferguson admitted he wasn’t anticipating a good day when he was out on the range, but said everything fell into place as he got out on course.
“I’m fiddling around with my grip at the moment, so I’m just trying to get comfortable before I hit the shot,”
“I just got off to a hot start and I played well from there. I took all the opportunities I could get.”
“The conditions were perfect. There wasn’t much wind out there so I knew I had to take advantage and pretty much everyone [who played this morning] has come in with an under par score. “
Ferguson was left to rue one missed opportunity early on his back nine, but some magic on the par-5 16th made up for it.
“I missed an eagle chance on the 10th from about 2 and a half feet, but I kept bouncing back pretty well,” said Ferguson.
“The eagle 16 was actually a chip in from the beach! It was a tough shot, so I was obviously really happy to get out of there with an eagle.”
While the sun shone of Ferguson today, he’s not expecting a similar welcome tomorrow with storms forecast for his late afternoon tee off time.
“We’re expecting tougher conditions so I knew I had to take advantage [this morning],” said Ferguson.
“I heard rumours that there’s going to be 10mm of rain, so I think the afternoon will be a lot tougher.
“The course is already really soft and saturated from all the rain they’ve had the last week or two. If you have a wedge shot it’ll rip back about 10 meters so you have to be really careful.”
With 18 players shooting in the sixties today, Ferguson knows he needs to build on his 7-under mark to stay ahead of the pack.
“The course is still playing pretty easy. I think anywhere from 15 to 20 under will be the leading number, so I need to push on from today.”
WA has seven other players in the Men’s field, with Haydn Barron T19 on 2-under, Kiran Day and Min Woo Lee T28 on 1-under, Nick Curnow T49 on 1-over, Cameron Jones and Simon Liddell T74 on 2-over and Connor Faulds 126th on 10-over.
- story courtesy GolfWA