67 sets Australian Amateur Day One Pace
Ryan Chisnall is part of the first round lead <br>(Golf Zealand Photo)
Ryan Chisnall is part of the first round lead
(Golf Zealand Photo)

VICTORIA, Australia (January 17, 2017) -- The analysis of just how good an opening 67 at Kingswood will only be made after a round at Yarra Yarra on Wednesday.

That’s the takeaway after a rash of low scores at the Peninsula Kingswood club’s course today to begin the men’s Australian Amateur Championship, presented by Swinging Skirts.

Three men – New Zealand’s Ryan Chisnall, Victoria’s William Heffernan and West Australian Kiran Day – share top billing after carding 5-under rounds at Kingswood, where 20 of the 21 sub-par scores were returned.

Only New South Wales bolter Kieren Jones found himself in red numbers at Yarra Yarra, his 69 good for 1-under on a course with two traditional par-5s playing as par-4s this week.

Jones, 20, was excited to have played his way into a share of 14th, but wasn’t sure how his return to Kingswood would go tomorrow, despite him having a statistical edge over much of the field.

“I didn’t play very well there last year,” Jones said without specifying a number because he didn’t return after a long weather delay.

“Let’s just say it wasn’t going very well,” he only half-joked.

“I didn’t like that track the best last year, but I’m looking forward to it tomorrow … got to go back over there and tear it up.”

Jones, a scholarship member at Killara Golf Club north of Sydney, but whose home track is Shelly Beach north of Gosford, has never been in such a position at a top-tier event, but is happy with his form.

“It’s not too bad, I feel well, hit it pretty solid off the tee and even holed a couple of putts for once,” he said.

“It would mean a lot (to advance to the top 64 tomorrow). I haven’t made too many match plays before, so it would be good to get in amongst it and see how far I can go.”

Remarkably, none of the leading trio made a bogey at Kingswood, and only a single blemish by the in-form Dylan Perry cost him a share of top billing.

World No. 6 amateur Scott Gregory, the British Amateur champ from England, also found his touch on Tuesday with a 3-under 69 at Kingswood to sit in a group tied for fifth including David Boote, of Wales.

Another Welshman, Owen Edwards found his groove at Yarra Yarra with an even-par 70 to be well placed after mixing four birdies with four bogeys.

Most of the fancied Aussies are still in the mix, but there was indifferent news for the top-ranked Australian duo expected to be in the mix.

New South Wales stars Harrison Endycott (75) and Travis Smyth (77) both left themselves work ahead when they switch to Yarra Yarra on Wednesday, while emerging Queenslander Charlie Dann also battled to a 76 at the statistically easier course.

The top 64 after tomorrow’s second round of stroke play advance to the match play phase set to begin Thursday.

Results For Australian Men's Amateur Championship
WinAustraliaMatias SanchezAustralia1200
Runner-upAustraliaMin Woo LeeAustralia900
SemifinalsAustraliaKevin YuanAustralia700
SemifinalsScotlandRobert MacIntyreScotland700
QuarterfinalsWalesEvan GriffithWales500

View full results for Australian Men's Amateur Championship

ABOUT THE Australian Men's Amateur

The Australian Men's and Women's Amateur Championships are Australia's oldest Amateur Golf Championships, with both having been played since 1894.

Players contest 36-holes stroke play qualifying, with the leading 64 men qualifying for elimination match play. The initial field size is 216 men.

View Complete Tournament Information

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