Victorian David Bransdon has handed in the score of the day at the Oates Vic Open firing himself into the early lead after round one.
Playing on the Creek Course at Thirteenth Beach Golf Links, Bransdon was on fire early. With a hot putter in hand he was 6-under through the turn.
Starting his back-9 with a birdie, Bransdon was on a roll but despite calls of 59 watch from the media, he kept a level head to end the day at 8-under 64.
“It’s always nice to start a tournament with that sort of number,” said Bransdon.
“I putted well early. I had 6-under on the front-9 and birdied 10 so I was 7-under after 10 holes. The putter was really hot.
“I didn’t hit it as close the last few holes so I didn’t give myself many looks at birdies, but I kept hitting greens and didn’t find any trouble.
“It’s a par-72 so long way from that (59) it’s another 6-under from the 7-under through 10 and it doesn’t yield that many birdies.”
This is Bransdon’s best score on the Creek Course, the easier of the two layouts but the one he is least familiar with.
“We have played it the last three or four years so just the practice round and then the one tournament round each year. This is certainly my lowest score,” added Bransdon, who also hopes to be on his way to his best Oates Vic Open result.
“I have had a couple of top-10’s here so it’s been ok, certainly not close to winning so it would be nice to be there on Sunday.”
Bransdon wasn’t the only player to take advantage of the Creek Course, New Zealander Michael Hendry and Queenslander Brett Rankin are just two shots behind him on 6-under the card.
Rankin credits his solid play to some important work done over the Christmas break with his coach; 2016 PGA Teaching Professional of the Year Richard Woodhouse.
“There was some stuff mentally that I worked on with my coach after the Australian PGA Championship,” said Rankin.
“We also changed my ball flight. I am hitting a fade now with my driver instead of a draw which I am finding a lot more consistent and has put me in play a lot more. I am really liking where my game is at.
“Richard is killing it at the moment, he has a lot of the boys working with him and he is doing such a great job. He understands the golf swing so well.
“I have been with him for 18 months now and it is probably the best golf I have played.”
Hendry is flying under the radar, despite being the highest ranked player in the field he has avoided the limelight.
“It was one of those days where I was walking off with 6-under thinking it could have been 10-under," said Hendry.
“I played Singapore a couple of weeks ago and there was some good signs there. I feel like I have been close to playing well but not quite putting it together.
“It all came together today and if I can keep the same feelings and thoughts going there is no reason I can’t continue and have a few more good rounds.”
Deyen Lawson was the stand out in the afternoon session to shoot 6-under 66 to stay in touch with the leaders at the top of the board.
"I got off to a pretty good start with a couple of birdies but then it got pretty windy so I had to play a little more conservatively," Lawson said.
"I hit one in the water on 12 but besides that it was pretty solid."
Lawson was able to rely on his local knowledge of the course and with a building wind hampering many, that knowledge came in to play to post the best score in the afternoon session.
He said he hopes conditions calm down to match most of the practice rounds earlier in the week.
"Hopefully the weather does what it did yesterday, it'll be fair for everyone so that would be good. Either way I'll just go out there and shoot my shot again and see how we go."
Rounding out the top-5 on 5-under the card are Lucas Herbert, Matthew Griffin, Richard Green and Taylor Macdonald. They all played the Creek Course.
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