Hickmott claims day one lead at QLD Open
BY Bruce Young | Von Nida Tour | 2006 Queensland Open | Round One | 26 Oct 2006
As day one drew to a close at the 2006 Roadcon Queensland Open Championship at the Ipswich Golf Club, west of Brisbane, much of the talk still revolved around the brilliant morning round of 62 recorded by Victorian Luke Hickmott but there were others who had also been very impressive.
Luke Hickmott Interview
Hickmott, who has not had a good season in 2006, wherever he has played, put his improved showing down to a change to the belly putter last week in Townsville and said that his putting was the feature of his round.
“I didn’t really hit the ball all that well on the front nine but made a lot of putts then funnily enough the reverse happened early on the back nine,” said Hickmott. “I started to hit the ball well but began to struggle a little on the greens until the last few holes.”
The belly putter was suggested by a friend and I tried it for the first time last week and really liked it. I was not going to use it in the event in Townsville but was pleased I did and even more pleased now. I can’t see it leaving the bag for a while."
“It’s been a pretty ordinary year for me both in Canada and Asia but things are starting to turn around now. This is my best round in tournament golf as such. I did have an 11 under par round in a pro am although this is my best in a four round event.”
Adam Blyth is a local Brisbane golfer who has made steady progress in his two years as a professional and continued to show his liking for the Ipswich Golf Club layout with his first round of 65. Blyth had finished fifth and third here as an amateur. Like Hickmott, Blyth played in the morning field.
“I have always enjoyed it here,” said Blyth after the round. “The people are great to me here and the golf course for some reason just seems to fit my eye.”
“I got off to a good steady start and in fact had to make a couple of good putts for pars early but an eagle at the 8th kick started the round. I actually pulled my tee shot but there but then hit a two iron to four feet and made it and got things going. I then birdied the 9th and got on a bit of a roll on the way in.”
Late in the day however another would join Blyth in a share of second place, namely Tristan Lambert, who in his very first start in professional golf has made an immediate statement. The 23 year old from Casula in NSW pre qualified for the tournament when recording a one under 70 at Nudgee and will remember his very first round as a professional golfer. “I drove it well and putted well today,” Lambert said after his round. “I started with three birdies and then added another three in succession early in the back nine. It was a pleasing start.”
Lambert is intending on playing the Asian Tour School in a few weeks but in the meantime will play the New South Wales Open and, hopefully, the Greater Building Society’s Queensland PGA Championship dependant on how he performs this week.
Hickmott takes a three shot lead into round two but amongst the afternoon field there were several players who gave every indication that the 25 year old won’t necessarily have things his own way for too long.
At five under 67 are North Queensland’s Ryan Haller, Tasmanian Robin Hodgetts, Gold Coast golfer Troy Kennedy, who finished one shot better than his brother, Brad, and local amateur Aaron Pike who is the low amateur at this stage although several other amateurs have done well on day one.
Tim Stewart the Australian Amateur Champion, NSW’s Jamie Arnold and local golfers Kevin Lee and Trevor Egan have also made good starts amongst the amateurs, recording opening rounds of four under 68.
Peter Senior was round in three under 69 after three birdies and fifteen pars and was not impressed by the fact that he had not taken advantage of what were ideal scoring conditions especially early. He was the perfect playing partner however for youngster Adam Verity who at the age of fifteen took everything in as he played with one of Australia’s greatest. Verity had gained a start at the last hour after Lucas Parsons had withdrawn. He handled what would have no doubt been a daunting but exciting occasion well and his even par 72 was a lot better than many more experienced players.
67 players bettered par on day one.