Grady equals course record at Queensland Open
BY iseekgolf.com | Australasian PGA Tour | 2002 Queensland Open | Round One | 31 Oct 2002
Only a week after declaring he has recovered his love for the game, former US PGA champion Wayne Grady today equalled the course record at Ipswich Golf Club and took outright lead on the first day of the Queensland Open Championship.
The Gold Coast-based Grady revelled in the hot, steamy conditions in Brisbane’s outer western suburbs as he conjured some of the magic that made him a national favourite when he won the American title in 1990. He threw out the warning to his younger opponents that the task of being chairman of the PGA Tour of Australasia has not affected his playing ability as he reeled off a four-under par 32 on the outward nine.
A huge gallery that had followed Queensland’s other endearing veteran Peter Senior in the morning round watched in amazement as Grady set himself for another birdie on the par 5 12th hole by manufacturing a three wood shot around a tree. The ball finished on the green and two putts later, the 45-year-old Grady was on equal terms with four players who had finished the morning round on 67.
He went to the outright lead with another birdie on the par 4 17th and then narrowly missed a 6m putt on the last which would have given him the course record, held by Ian Stanley since 1997.
Grady said his score had been “lucky” because he had not handled the driver well and he was using the putter instead of chipping from the edge of the green. His score of four birdies and an eagle brought back memories of his last major tournament win – the Indonesian PGA title in 1994.
Grady’s score left four players in equal second place, including 20-year-old former Australian amateur champion Richard Moir who moved from Queensland to Victoria to join the AIS last year.
Moir saw a chance for an early outright lead slip away on the 18th when a five metre putt lipped out, leaving him with a tap in putt for par. At the end of day one Moir is level on 67 with journeyman Tony Carolan (NSW), Nigel Spencer (SA) and Martin Petersen (NSW) who all enjoyed the cooler morning conditions.
Senior, always a favourite with Queensland golf crowds, did not disappoint his fans as he reeled off a round of 68, including a tricky birdie, also on the 12th where Grady had a lucky escape. Senior’s tee shot was hard against the base of a tree, forcing him to chip out sideways to the fairway. His recovery shot reached the green easily and left him with a 3m putt for birdie.
Queenslander Andrew Buckle, a member of this year’s Australian amateur team in the Eisenhower Cup, celebrated his first day as a professional by scoring an impressive one under par 71.
Adam Groom (NSW) who joined Buckle in leaving the amateur ranks after helping Australia to third place in the Cup in Malaysia, finished with a creditable par round, playing with Carolan and the experienced Gold Coaster, Brad Andrew.
Andre Stolz, fresh from his victory in the Victorian Open last week, settled for a steady one under par 71while Scott Hend, recovering from a serious bout of influenza after returning from the USA last week, had a disappointing 74.
Hend had been playing steadily until two severe hooks on the 18th left him in tree trouble and he was forced to settle for a double bogey.
Defending champion Shane Tait, from Tully in North Queensland, began his campaign for successive titles with a -3 (69), to stay in touch with the leaders.