Chris Downes leads day one of NSW PGA Championship

BY | Von Nida Tour | 2003 New South Wales PGA Championship | Round One | 14 Mar 2003
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Queensland’s Chris Downes fired a course record -11 (62) to open a handy three shot lead on the first day of the $100,000 NSW PGA Championship. Downes fired eleven birdies in a blemish-free round of golf on the par-73 Pambula-Merimbula layout.

David Armstrong, who had taken the lead earlier in the day today with a superb -8 (65), had to settle for a share of second place alongside Victoria’s Gavin Vearing, a graduate of the Australian Institute of Sport.

Local pro Justin Welsford used his extensive knowledge of the course, to fire a superb -7 (66). Welsford finished in a group of seven players that included defending champion Euan Walters, Matthew Hazeldon from the UK, New Zealand’s Tim Wilkinson and Perth’s Stephen Collins, who currently sits in 39th place on the 2003 Order of Merit.

The 2003 NSW PGA Championship marks the first event of the rebadged Development Tour, now known as the Von Nida Tour. The prize pool for the week totals AUD$100,000, with the winner taking away AUD$18,000. When the NSW PGA Championship was last contested in February 1999 at Batemans Bay the prize pool was just AUD$50,000.

Top Scores – Round One
1 -11 Chris Downes QLD (62)

T2 -8 David Armstrong VIC (65)
T2 -8 Gavin Vearing VIC (65)

T4 -7 Justin Welsford NSW (66)
T4 -7 Shannon Jones NSW (66)

T6 -6 Aaron Byrnes NSW (67)
T6 -6 Carl Smedley VIC (67)
T6 -6 Euan Walters VIC (67)
T6 -6 Larry Austin VIC (67)
T6 -6 Matthew Hazeldon UK (67)
T6 -6 Stephen Collins WA (67)
T6 -6 Tim Wilkinson NZL (67)

T13 -5 Adam Groom NSW (68)
T13 -5 Andrew Tschudin VIC (68)
T13 -5 Brady Lord WA (68)
T13 -5 David Heffernan VIC (68)
T13 -5 Marcus Wheelhouse NZ (68)
T13 -5 Matt Millar ACT (68)
T13 -5 Tim Elliot VIC (68)
T13 -5 Troy Kennedy QLD (68)

  • Full scores not available from PGA Australia

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