Victorian David Bransdon and first year Professional James Anstiss from New Zealand blitzed the Creek Course at 13th Beach Golf Links to share the lead following round one of the Oates Vic Open.
Teeing off in rainy conditions this morning, Bransdon got his round off to a familiar start, his bogey free 8-under 64 the same score from his first round in last year’s tournament, also on the Creek Course.
“Maybe I should ask the organisers if we can play three rounds around here and just the one on the Beach instead,” joked Bransdon.
“I just seem to hole putts over there, I get over to the Beach and don’t hole as many.”
Bransdon comes to the Oates Vic Open off a strong performance in the 2017 Australian PGA Championship where he finished tied fourth.
He credits his solid form to his putting game; something he’s been working with Gold Coast based PGA Professional Matt Ballard.
“I’ve always hit it really well and my putter is still in reasonable shape from the Australian PGA Championship,” added Bransdon.
“I did some good work on my putting at the end of last year with Matt Ballard and basically worked on the same sort of stuff, the ball is rolling well for me.
“My big thing is stable knees and hips, he (Ballard) is constantly sending me videos and pictures of Jason Day and how well he does that, with constantly stable legs.
“The putter for me is what it comes down to, if you have 36 putts you’re never going to shoot 8-under. It’s a pretty easy task for me, if I hole putts I’m generally going to shoot a low score.”
When asked how he’ll approach tomorrow’s round on the Beach Course, Bransdon said he’ll be aiming to manage the 18 holes and avoid getting himself in to trouble off the tees.
“There’s probably less drivers around the Beach Course, you sort of plod your way around a bit more. It’s probably a little more generous off the tee on the Creek Course, you’ve got to be a little more wary of more dangers around the Beach and position yourself more around there,” added Bransdon.
Anstiss, in just his second tournament as a Professional was also bogey free around the Creek Course in posting 8-under 64 for a share of the lead.
“I played pretty solid, I hit a lot of greens and putted really well,” said Anstiss who made his Professional debut at the REBEL Sport NZ Masters.
“I hit 16 greens, made a couple of 15 footers and hit a couple close, it was pretty stress free I didn’t really do much wrong.
“I had one really good par save on our 9th hole which was the 18th and the rest from there I made pretty easy for myself.”
Fellow New Zealander Nick Voke, also in his first year as a Professional, is one shot further back following his round of 7-under 65 also on the Creek Course.
“It’s nice to get off to a good start, as a rookie Pro it’s really important for me, I don’t exactly have all the finances in the world so it’s imperative to get off to a good start and hopefully I can kick on with it,” said Voke who spent most of his young golfing career playing in the NCAA with Iowa State.
“I was 5-under through seven (holes) and then coming in I was hitting solid shots, it was a little on the scrappy side but every putt I saw went in.”
Victorian Peter Wilson joins Voke on 7-under par while star amateur David Micheluzzi, Taylor Macdonald and Harry Bateman sit in a tie for fifth at 6-under par.
Defending champion Dimi Papadatos, Matthew Giles, Tyler McCumber, Ash Hall, Matt Jager, Jordan Zunic and amateur Matias Sanchez are tied for eighth on 5-under par.
The Oates Vic Open will be played from 1-4 February at 13th Beach Golf Links with a field of 144 players vying for a prize purse of AUD $650,000.
The winner will receive Official World Golf Ranking Points and become fully exempt on to the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia for the remainder of this season plus a further two years.
Those unable to make the trip to 13th Beach Golf Links this week will still be able to watch the weekend’s action with the return of the Oates Vic Open live stream through PGA TV.
For more information on the broadcast schedule, visit pga.org.au.
For round one scores, visit pga.org.au.
Round two begins at 7:10am with David Bransdon off at 12:20pm and James Anstiss off at 1:10pm
For round two tee times, visit pga.org.au.
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