Tim Hart leads by two at the QLD PGA after Round 1
Brisbane boy Tim Hart took advantage of relatively benign conditions to flirt with the course record on his way to a two-stroke lead at the Queensland PGA Championship at Nudgee Golf Club. Bogey-free and 7-under through 15 holes, a mental error led to a double-bogey at the par-4 16th. In a sign of growing maturity, Hart responded with a two-putt birdie at the par-5 17th and then produced an exceptional two-putt from the front of the 18th green to sign for a 6-under 66.
That is one shy of the course record jointly shared by 2021 champion Anthony Quayle and Haydn Barron but two better than the winning 72-hole total at Nudgee 12 months ago. Fellow Brisbane natives Jake McLeod and Chris Wood share second with Andrew Campbell after rounds of 4-under 68 with Queensland amateur Lincoln Morgan, Sydney rookie Harrison Crowe and West Australian Ben Ferguson part of a six-way tie for fifth after posting 3-under 69.
Currently 16th on the Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit, Hart birdied his first three holes on Thursday. With the exception of the slip-up on 16, he used a potent combination of power, putts and patience to assume the Round 1 lead.
“It was nice to see the putts go in early, which puts you in a really good headspace and relaxes you more than anything,” said Hart, who holed putts from 20, six and 12 feet to be 3-under through three holes.
“I got to seven (under) through 15 and then made that double-bogey but to finish with a birdie and a good two-putt on the last made me feel a lot better.”
McLeod matched his opening round from 12 months ago thanks in part to some putting practice last week with good mate and 2021 champion, Anthony Quayle. A superb up-and-down from the bunker on 18 kept McLeod within two as he seeks to recapture the form that saw him win the Order of Merit in 2018.
“He (Quayle) just noticed straight away that I was really bogged down over the ball,” McLeod said.
“Getting engaged out there at the hole rather than being really stuck over the ball and struggling to take it away. Just getting a bit more external with my thoughts and really seeing that ball drop into the hole.
After removing his shoes to play two shots out of the hazard on his way to a bogey at the par-4 first, Crowe closed with an eagle on 17 and birdie on 18 to join the logjam at 3-under.
In his first start as a professional, New Zealand’s Kazuma Kobori dropped a shot on 16 to post 2-under 70, matching reigning Order of Merit champion David Micheluzzi to be tied for 11th.
In his first start back since being diagnosed with Leukaemia, Kiwi Michael Hendry dropped five shots in his final five holes to sign for a 77, three shots outside the projected cut-line.
The only place to watch every upcoming event on the Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia live is on Fox Sports, available on Foxtel and Kayo.
The final two rounds of the Queensland PGA Championship will be broadcast live on Foxtel and Kayo from 2:30pm-5:30pm Saturday and 12:30pm-5:30pm Sunday AEDT.
For live scoring and the latest news visit www.pga.org.au. Exclusive content and tournament updates will also be posted regularly on the PGA Tour of Australasia’s social media channels.
Facebook: @PGAofAustralia, @PGATourAus
Official hashtag: #QLDPGA
HOW TO WATCH
Catch the action of the third and final rounds on Saturday and Sunday, broadcast live, on Foxtel (Channel 505) and Kayo Sports.
Round 3: Saturday, 2:30pm-5:30pm AEDT
Round 4: Sunday, 12:30pm-5:30pm AEDT