Victorian amateur Zach Murray has fired into the first round lead at the Nexus Risk TSA Group WA Open after equalling the course record at Mount Lawley Golf Club.
Playing in the morning field and starting on the 10th tee, Murray got off to a steady start with six straight pars before making birdies at the 16th and 17th to be 2-under the card at the turn.
Murray ignited on the front-9 reeling off six birdies to be in the clubhouse at 8-under 64 and equal the course record set by Mitchell Brown in 2003.
“It’s nice to have a low opening round, it takes a little bit of pressure off having to try and come home late,” said Murray.
“Last year I seemed to have one or two-under, just plot my way along and then shot low in the last round.
“The conditions were great and the course is great so the opportunities were out there if you managed to roll a few putts in, which I did.”
The 21-year-old was looking forward to returning to the West after he finished 9th in the WA Open last year, a result he credits with kick-starting his summer of golf.
“It is always nice to come back, I love Perth. I played here in a schoolboys championship about five or six years ago,” added Murray.
“Then I got a lot of confidence out of the WA Open last year, being able to compete at a professional event.”
Sitting one shot behind Murray is 2017 Victorian PGA Champion Damien Jordan who was complimentary of the amateur’s low round.
“It was absolutely perfect out there this morning. I thought I was playing pretty good but to see someone one better is fantastic golf,” said Jordan.
“The putter has been really hot. So it was good to make the most of hitting good shots.”
Placed in a tie for third on 6-under the card are Brett Rankin, defending champion Stephen Leaney and Ben Ferguson who made his professional debut today.
Conditions were much tougher for the afternoon field with the winds synonymous with Western Australia making scoring difficult.
Another Victorian amateur, David Micheluzzi, fared the best recording 4-under 68, highlighted by an eagle on the par-4 18th. The 22-year-old chipped in after almost driving the green.
Also shooting 4-under 68 this afternoon was New Zealander Kieran Muir who celebrated his 31st birthday today.
The other highlight of the day belonged to New South Welshman Andrew Campbell who recorded a hole-in-one on the 146m par-3 6th hole using his 9iron.
The second round of the Nexus Risk TSA Group WA Open tees off at 6.50am with Zach Murray on course at Mount Lawley Golf Club at 12pm.
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