Aron Price shares early lead at Victorian Open
BY iseekgolf.com | Von Nida Tour | 2006 Victorian Open | Round One | 03 Feb 2006
Rookie NSW professional Aron Price and South Australian Gary Simpson each fired seven-under 65’s to share the lead midway through the first round of the 2006 Victorian Open being played at the Woodlands Golf Club today.
The 23-year-old former US Golf Scholarship holder and 33-year-old Simpson lead by one stroke from veteran professional Mike Harwood who turned back the clock with a sensational six-under 66.
One stroke further back are a group of four players on five-under 67 including Queensland’s Matt Ballard, local professional Heath Reed, South Australian Henry Perks and Brad Heaven from New Zealand.
With the morning field completing their rounds under clear skies with a gentle southerly breeze, Price, Simpson and Harwood in particular took full advantage of the perfect scoring conditions.
Price, the 23-year-old winner of four US collegiate golf events including the prestigious Western Amateur Medal fired seven birdies and a spectacular eagle on his way to the joint lead in only his second Von Nida event.
“I had a good putting round” he commented after returning his card. “I’ve hit it better but my putting and a holed lob wedge on the 15th for eagle certainly got the score today”.
Similarly, Simpson also got off to a fast start with birdies on his opening two holes at the 10th and 11th. A further birdie at the 379-metre par four 14th saw him go out in 33. Further birdies on the 1st, 3rd, 4th and 7th saw Simpson close out for a bogey free 65.
In contrast Harwood opened quietly after beginning his round at the 10th. However after four steady pars, the runner-up in the 1991 British Open rattled off birdies at the 14th, 16th and 18th to turn in 33. The 47-year-old winner of seven professional titles worldwide then lit up the front nine of the beautifully presented Woodlands layout.
Harwood birdied the opening four holes and looked set to match Price and Simpson at the top of the leader board before a bogey five on his final hole, the 409 metre 9th, saw him sign for a 66.
Amateur honours from the morning went to Victorian State Team Captain Andrew Tampion who overcame a slow start with an inward nine of 32 to set up a four-under 68. He leads by one stroke from Korean Amateur Jae Yonng Choi who returned a 69 while Australian representative Jason Day had a 71.
Of other notable players in the morning field, former Australian Open Champion Peter Senior had a steady one-under 71. As the cloud clears to a sunny afternoon, low scoring is expected to continue at the 47th Victorian Open.
Source – Victorian Open
Photo – Anthony Powter