Sim leads dawn to dusk at PGA
BY Bruce Young | Australasian PGA Tour | 2007 Australian PGA Championship | Round One | 06 Dec 2007
At the completion of the opening day of the 2007 Australian PGA Championship, West Australian Michael Sim has retained his early lead, the only real challenge amongst the afternoon groups to his opening round of 65, was the round of 66 by two-time champion here at the Hyatt Regency Coolum, Peter Lonard.
At the completion of play, Sim leads by one over Lonard, Craig Parry, Richard Green and J.B. Holmes, the latter three players all out amongst the morning field. Sim too was out early, in fact so early that he was the first player to tee off on day one.
The 23-year-old West Australian, who lost his full status on the PGA Tour in 2007 will have a few PGA Tour starts on medical exemption in 2008 but he is a player good enough to be amongst the best in the world when he pays his dues in professional golf.
“I felt when I went out that a round of three or four under would be good but the breeze never really eventuated, said Lonard, who was paired with Rory Sabbatini and Stuart Appleby.
“I am a little disappointed that I did not really kick on from the turn but I hit a lot of shots I was happy with and would have taken 66 before I teed off that’s for sure. I got caught between clubs at the par five 12th and only made par when I had only an eight iron to the green but two holes later I hit a shot to 5 feet at the 14th and got the birdie I was hoping for at the 12th.”
Gavin Coles, Rory Sabbatini and new PGA Tour recruit, David Lutterus, were others amongst the afternoon group to excel with their rounds of 68. The South Australian, Lutterus, who just last week graduated to the PGA Tour, recovered from a slow start to finish with 68 to continue an amazing year.
Currently the cut score stands at one under par and with the top 60 players to make the weekend, the number required to be around for the final 36 holes is likely to be around that score.
The shock round of the day was that of Kurt Barnes, who made the turn in even par 36 before a back nine of 49 including a sextuple bogey 10 at the par four 13th brought his world undone. After playing well at the MasterCard Masters he has missed the cut at the New Zealand Open and now this round has him reeling.
Also a shock, was the round by Stuart Appleby, a previous winner around Hyatt Regency Coolum, who could only manage 78 after a back nine of 41 that included three double bogeys.
Defending champion, Nick O’Hern, had two under 70 and is well enough placed although he does not appear to be playing in the form he was last year.