Collins claims two shot lead at Mastercard Masters
BY iseekgolf.com | Australasian PGA Tour | 2002 MasterCard Masters | Round One | 05 Dec 2002
Western Australian Steve Collins, who finished in 28th place at last week’s Australian PGA, has grabbed a two-stroke lead following the first round of the $1.25 million Mastercard Masters at Huntingdale Golf Club in Melbourne.
Collins defied the poor conditions to card four birdies on the front nine, including three in a row at the 6th, 7th and 8th holes plus another two on the way back in to finish at -4 (68). The only blemishes coming at the 15th and 18th holes.
Last week’s joint Ausstralian PGA winner Peter Lonard and Queenland’s Adam Scott share second place following rounds of 70 a piece. Lonard came to the final hole at -4, but fired his drive into a fairway bunker and finished the hole with a double bogey to slip into 2nd place.
Poor conditions caused havoc for the players with some rounds taking over five hours to complete plus surface water on the fairways and greens slowed down tee-shots and putting. The first round average score was over 75 with only the 7th and 10th holes holding their own.
Seven players closed the day at -1 including Jarrod Moseley, who co-won the recent Austraian Open, Wayne Riley, Gavin Coles, Adam Crawford, Steve Conron, Marcus Fraser, Richard ball and Tony Carolan.
The surprise of the day came with Aaron Baddeley who dropped four shots over his final four holes to post a 75 and is in equal 48th with 17 other players. Baddeley’s playing partner, Ty Tryon, had his chances during the day but eventually closed just one stroke better than Baddeley at 2 and equal 33rd along with Stuart Appleby, Rod Pampling, Nick Faldo and others.
Eight-time major winner, Tom Watson, bettered many players half his age to close at 1 and a share of 21st place.
The current forecast for Melbourne suggests the showers will ease to sunny weather tomorrow with a maximum of 18 degrees. The weekend looks much better with mostly sunny weather and a chance of a late storm on Sunday.