Downes closes in on Masters lead
BY Bruce Young | Australasian PGA Tour | 2008 Australian Masters | Round One | 28 Nov 2008
Queenslander Chris Downes was one of the 39 players left on the golf course when play was called off due to darkness on day one of the Sportsbet Masters at Huntingdale Golf Club in Melbourne, but he was back in action at 7.00am this morning.
Downes finished with a round of 68 and at the completion of round one he finds himself alone in second position just one behind the lead of Scott Hend and Tim Clark.
Downes was at three under when play was called off last night and in ideal conditions this morning he recommenced his round at the par four 14th.
“I parred the 14th, hit it close on the 15th and made birdie, then three putted the 16th from 15 feet and then made a good putt at the 17th for birdie. I was able to get up and down from the bunker at the last,” said Downes as he took a brief break between rounds. He had only twenty minutes or so before he was back out in round two.
“I played okay, I drove the ball well and didn’t do much wrong. I guess you could say it was just a decent round of golf,” he added.
Downes has for some time been considered one of Australia’s bright prospects finishing runner up behind Peter Lonard at the Australian Open in 2005 and going close to winning the New Zealand Open on two occasions. His form in recent times has slipped and he has played only domestically in 2008 but a recent decision to work with Gold Coast-based coach Ian Triggs appears to be paying off.
“I worked pretty hard with Ian last week as I had a week off and it now feels like I am starting to play alright so here’s hoping it continues.”