Walters and Fardon lead day one of Queensland Open
BY iseekgolf.com | Von Nida Tour | 2003 Queensland Open | Round One | 30 Oct 2003
Touring Victorian professional Euan Walters and occasional tournament player Don Fardon equalled the Ipswich course record to be joint leaders after the first day of the Q.L.D. Group Queensland Open Golf Championship today.
Walters, 32, and Fardon 41, joined nine other names at 66 on the Honour Board, finishing late in the day to overtake Wayne Perske who had been at the top of the leader board since early morning.
Walters, who was four under par after nine holes, played a steady game on the back nine to add two more birdies and take the lead and set himself for his best payday in more than a year.
But Walters’ celebrations had just begun when Fardon, who has not played in a 72 hole tournament in almost five years, finished with a burst of five birdies on the second nine to join him.
Fardon, who has been teaching at The Glades on the Gold Coast, said he decided to enter the Open as a way of getting into the Australian Open in December.
“I hit a few at work and it felt good so I decided to have a go,” Fardon said.
He played the course backwards, taking a single birdie through nine but came home with five birdies, and like Walters bogey-free, for his first chance at a top finish in more than a decade.
Fardon only made the field after shooting a 67 in qualifying at the Virginia course last week.
Walters, soon to be a father for the third time, said his last wins had been in the NSW and WA PGA tournaments in 1999 and he lost a playoff to Kim Felton in last years PGA in Western Australia.
“I got away to a bad start when I hooked the tee shot into the trees but I managed to scramble a par and just play steady form there,” Walters said.
Gold Coast-based Wayne Perske, who only returned to Australia on Tuesday after a season in Japan, fired five birdies in his round of 67 but was still not totally happy with his round.
Perske, who finished 80th on the Japanese money winning list this year from only 12 tournaments, said the score meant he could probably go better than last year’s Open where he missed the cut.
He said he missed “a couple” of putts which could have given him a new course record but he had no complaints with his early hold on the top of the leader board after the morning round.
Ryan Haller, the Townsville-based professional was also left lamenting what might have been after admitting to four bad shots in an otherwise good round.
“There were a couple of drives and a couple of short shots that I should have played a lot better and I was punished for them,” Haller said.
He had seven birdies in the first 11 holes but dropped shots on three holes left him on four under par, level with Marcus Cain (Qld) and little known Victorian Alan Patterson.
Victorian Richard Moir, making his professional debut after a distinguished career in the amateur ranks, highlighted his par 72 round with a hole in one at the 131 metre second hole.
“I was a bit nervous at first but getting the hole in one helped settle me a bit,” he said.
Moir, 20, who is trying to emulate former amateur team mate Andrew Buckle in winning the Queensland Open on debut, said it took him six or seven holes to settle down and he was satisfied with the score.
Playing partner Wayne Grady said he had been impressed with Moir’s ability to hold himself together after the hole in one.
“He was a bit scratchy to start but I’ve played with him before and I knew he would be OK,” Grady said.
Moir’s ace was matched early in the afternoon round by 27-year-old amateur qualifier, Andrew Suosaari, a Nambour product now playing out of Brisbane club, Indooroopilly.
Like Moir, Suosaari used a nine iron that pitched a metre past the pin and spun back into the hole, out of sight of the players on the tee.
It was Sousaari’s first ace in golf and Moir’s first in a tournament. Suosaari left the course shortly after finishing with a par round, to work for four hours in a Moorooka bottle shop.
Veteran Queenslander Peter Senior thanked his short game for saving him from a disaster as he finished with a four under par 68, three from birdies on the par fives and another on the par four 18th.
“I chipped and putted well and I did’t miss anything under five feet,” Senior said.
“That was good on these greens. Every one was different and you were never sure how to approach them,” he said.
Senior said he did not want to compare his effort with last year when he was at the top of the leader board going into the weekend, only to fade and finish 13th.
Gold Coaster Richard Backwell, playing the course from the 10th, was in line to be in touch with the leaders until he came unstuck on the par three 8th hole.
He missed the green, ran into a bunker with his recovery and finished with a five for a one over par 73 for the day.
“I was hoping to shoot a lower score than that but now I will need a five under tomorrow to give myself a chance at the weekend,” Backwell said.
Chris Downes, one of the pre-tournament favourites, was still in contention with a three under par 69, level with Redland Bay trainee professional Craig Woodbridge, Gold Coaster Scott Gardiner and several other players.
Source – QLD Open