South Korean Byeong-hun An has set the early pace at the Emirates Australian Open to begin his pursuit of the Stonehaven Cup.
Arriving in Sydney to prepare for the ISPS HANDA Melbourne World Cup of Golf next week, An fired 5-under 67 in weather conditions more reminiscent of Melbourne than the Harbour city.
“It was weird. When I started, it was nice and I guess sunny. It was a little breezy, but it wasn't that bad, it was playable,” said An, who record an eagle, five birdies and two bogeys.
“Then got to the last hole and it came out of nowhere, it starts blowing a little harder and it started raining a little bit. So glad I finished before all this came.
“I think I got lucky with my tee time today playing the back-9first when the wind was a bit less than on the front-9, like the real front-9. So I got quite lucky with my tee time, I think.”
Sitting a shot further back is Matt Jager, who believes luck had little to do with his score today. With his swing feeling good and with Ryan McCarthy, a fellow pro who is currently injured, on his bag, Jager feels they are a formidable team.
“Obviously with the water and a lot of crosswinds and things like that, if you see the ball starting down the line that you choose, it gives you a lot of confidence,” said Jager.
“I’ve played a couple of Aussie Opens here in the past and not gone particularly well, but Ryan's finished in the top-20 here as an amateur in both the Australian Opens that he played, so he's confident in the golf course. That feeds through to me.
“Knowing that he's done well here and knowing that he's got the confidence in backing me, just gives me a lot of confidence out there that I can trust exactly what he's telling me, and having another pro on the bag and a good mate is really, really good.”
Opening with 3-under 69 were Marcus Fraser, Adam Stephens and Dimi Papadatos.
Tournament drawcards, Brandt Snedeker and Cameron Smith, had rounds of 1-over and 2-over respectively.
“It was a little scrappy, I didn't play great. I drove the ball pretty poorly. You do that around here, you're going to struggle,” said Snedeker.
“I did a good job of kind of hanging in there all day. There were a few bad breaks here and there. So all in all, not a great start, but definitely still in this tournament.
“This wind's going to keep everybody kind of around and hopefully can kind of get off to a little bit better start tomorrow.”
The afternoon field is on course
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