Henry Epstein recorded a new course record for the Tina Golf Course during the opening round of the South Pacific Golf Open Championship in New Caledonia.
Playing in the morning field Queensland’s Epstein shot an impressive 8-under 63 to achieve the feat.
“Holes 14 and 15, the short par 4’s, were the first two birdies I had of the day, both tap ins and the round pretty much got started from there,” said Epstein, following his round.
Epstein’s playing partner, Jean-Louis Guepy of France also displayed the form that had him competing on the European Tour earlier in his career, finishing with a 6-under 65.
“It was a pretty slow start really, I was playing with Jean-Louis Guepy and he got off to the good start and it just felt like I hit a couple of good shots on the back nine,” said Epstein.
Showing some form heading into the South Pacific Golf Open Championship, Epstein notched up a win at the Casino Pro-Am and a further three top five finishes on the pro-am circuit.
“I have been hitting the ball good and it’s good to be putting well again.”
“It’s nice to keep the form going over here and I enjoyed playing with one of the local celebs,” added Epstein referring to Guepy who resides in Noumea.
It seemed Epstein, who has played Tina Golf Course several times, could do no wrong finding all of the fairways and having a hot streak with the putter.
“I only missed one green today so to roll in nine one putts around the course is always a pretty good feeling.”
Set up this week as a par 71, Epstein’s 8-under round marks a new course record and though pleased with the feat was quick to point out he would have liked the par 72 record as well.
“I am a bit gutted actually, if it was a par 72 it would have been a 9-under round, I would have still beaten the course record and have gotten a PB.”
“Hopefully the 63 holds up, there are some good players out here and I think it’s do-able, so if they are good enough they will be able to catch me,” said Epstein of the afternoon field.
Also in the morning field New Zealand’s Ryan Fox and West Australian Kim Felton kick started their campaign with a solid 5-under 66 placing them in a share of third on the leaderboard.
Clint Rice, with the best of the afternoon scores, joins Fox and Felton at 5-under the card.
The second round of the South Pacific Golf Open Championship tees off at 6.45am local time or 5.45am AEST.
For Round 2 tee times click here
For Round 1 results click here