Hamilton Island Golf Club bared its teeth today for the opening round of the 2017 PGA Professionals Championship.
With a 30 kilometre northerly wind creating problems for the 50 Professionals and 56 amateurs competing.
2011 PGA Professionals Championship winner, Graeme Stockley from Belmont Golf Club and James Hartley from Yarrabend Golf Complex share the lead at the end of the first round after firing a 1-under par 70.
Starting on the 10th, Stockley took advantage of the wind to attack some of the longer par-5’s on the front-9.
“It was a good day, I hit the ball nicely for most of the way, there was a couple of hiccups here and there but I was really happy with the way I played,” said Stockley, who previously won the title at the home of the PGA of Australia; the Sandhurst Club in Victoria in 2011.
“I played the back-9 first so it was good to get those away before the wind got up too much. Then when I got to the front-9, with the direction of the wind I was able to play the par-5’s aggresiveley and take advantage of those.”
Hartley got off to a hot start with birdies on three of his first five holes.
“I am very pleased to get in at 1-under, it was very difficult with that north, north-westerly wind that was straight in to our face off the first tee,” Hartley said.
“I birdied two, three and five, I just really stuck to my guns and stuck to the game plan, trusted where I thought the wind was coming from and really committed to every shot.”
Stockley and Hartley lead the way by one shot from Darren Richards (QLD), while Nicholas Russell (QLD), Adam Kelleher (NSW) and two time PGA Professionals Champion Matthew Docking (NSW) are a further shot back in a tie for third.
However the highlight of the day belonged to Sean Underwood from Royal Sydney Golf Club recorded a hole-in-one at the 161m par-3, 4th hole. Underwood struck a perfect 6 iron to record the ace, going on to shoot a three over par 74.
The leading two male competitors will receive an exemption into the 2017 Australian PGA Championship at RACV Royal Pines Resort alongside Sergio Garcia and Adam Scott, while the leading female will receive a start at the 2018 Oates Women’s Vic Open.
Leading the way in the Hamilton Island Amateur Championship is Matt Edwards from the Grand Golf Club on the Gold Coast following his 39 points. Edwards heads into the final round with a four point lead over Raymond Cook.
For the full list of competitors in the 2017 PGA Professionals Championship, visit pga.org.au.
For round one scores, visit pga.org.au.
For round two tee times, visit pga.org.au.
Further information on the Hamilton Island Amateur Golf Championship can be found via the Hamilton Island Golf Club.
Headlines at a glance
Davis leads strong Singapore line-up
Australian Open Champion Cameron Davis faces a big opportunity when he is one of the 17 Australasians to tee off in the co-sanctioned Singapore Open o...
Gibson, Drewitt make strong starts
Rhein Gibson and Brett Drewitt have got their 2018 Web.com Tour seasons off to a strong start, the pair sharing third place at the first event of the ...
Aussie veterans sign on for Oates Vic Open
Two of Australian golf’s most decorated careers will continue on home soil from February 1 when Robert Allenby and Peter Lonard tee it up at the...