Sullivan shares lead at Macquarie AM
BY Anthony Powter | Australian Mens Amateur Tour | 2011 Lake Macquarie Amateur | Round One | 21 Jan 2011
The first round of the Lake Macquarie Amateur sees three players in a tie for the lead at 5-under-par with England’s Andrew Sullivan sharing the top stop along with Aussies Cameron Smith and Anthony Murdaca after the trio shot opening rounds of 67.
Sullivan, ranked as the world number 23, finished runner-up to Tarquin MacManus last week at the Australian Master of the Amateurs and is a winner of more than six main amateur tournaments in the UK during the last two years, including twice winning the Midland Open Amateur title and the 2010 champion at the Hampshire Salver.
The Englishman’s opening round sends a stern message to the rest of the field that he will be a force at Belmont as he goes in pursuit of another international title after securing the 2010 Tailhade Cup in Argentina.
Lachlan Cain, Brady Watt, Sean Underwood and Italian young gun, Domenico Geminiani, are in a tie for 4th position at 4-under-par, a stoke ahead of a pack of eight players including Brett Drewitt, Michael Smyth and Nathan Waters with rounds of 3-under-par, 69, to be three strokes from the leaders.
Drewitt’s opening round certainly did no damage to his chances in this tournament, keeping the 19-year-old within striking distance of the leading players. He will enjoy the advantage of an early second round tee time which should enable him a chance to post another low second round. A multiple winner during the 2010 amateur season including the Queensland Amateur, Drewitt was the only Australian to win internationally after claiming the Pacific Northwest Amateur with a 4&3 victory over American, Cory Renfrew last July. A top-15 finish last week at the Australian Master of the Amateurs sees him with some form and it will be interesting to follow Drewitt’s progress this week at Belmont.
Another Aussie that’s off to a solid start is Cameron Smith with his 5-under-par 67 to be in a share of the lead.
Smith is a prolific winner in junior events in his home state of Queensland and recently won the Victorian Junior Masters. During 2010 the 16-year-old made the top-16 at the Australian Amateur and holds the title as Australia’s top-ranked junior golfer. It will be interesting to see how Smith holds out as this tournament unfolds with the pressure of a main amateur tournament.
With twenty-five players within three strokes of the leaders, this Lake Macquarie Amateur is shaping up to be a close contest. It’s unlikely that we will see a repeat of last year where Kieran Pratt ran away with title with an 11 stroke winning margin after setting a tournament record 21-under-par result.