MELBOURNE, Australia (Jan. 8, 2013) -- There is a jam-packed leaders’ board after today’s opening round of the Australian Master of the Amateurs Championship which is being played at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club. Rain had threatened as the first players teed off, but later in the morning when the sun broke through, conditions were close to perfect.
Five players finished the day at five under the card; another five players are just one shot back. Defending champion Nathan Holman heads a very talented leading group. The 21 year old is coming off five wins in less than two years. He had an eagle and five birdies in today’s round of 67.
Steady play from young New South Wales golfer Jordan Zunic sees him also with a share of the lead. The 21 year old is a member of the Bonnie Doon Golf Club and is ranked number ten in Australia. Australia’s number one ranked amateur, Brady Watt from Perth is also on the top rung tonight. A member at Royal Perth Golf Club, the 22 year old has a world ranking of 16.
Emerging young Queenslander Viraat Badwhar from Indooroopilly Golf Club, shot seven birdies in his round. The 17 year old is already in the world top 100. 21 year old Melbourne golfer Geoffrey Drakeford also enjoyed today’s conditions and is the 5th player with a share of the lead tonight, thanks to a round of four birdies and an eagle. He is a member at near-by Commonwealth Golf Club so would be hoping local knowledge will be an advantage over the next three days.
While it is all Australian at the top, some of the highly regarded international players sit within a couple of shots. Among them 14 year old Tianlang Guan from China who has already qualified for this year’s US Masters
This event has brought together 54 leading amateur golfers from 12 countries vying for the title of Australian Master of the Amateurs and the green jacket which will be presented to the winner after the 4th round on Friday.