The international contingent is feeling right at home on the Gold Coast with the top-three positions on the Australian PGA Championship leaderboard filled by visiting Professionals.
20-year-old South African Zander Lombard fired a 5-under 67 on Thursday, his bogey free round astonishing in the tough conditions that plagued the rest of the field.
Accustomed to competing in the wind, Lombard believes the secret behind his success was the similarities between the Gold Coast and his home in Pretoria.
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Sitting two shots behind him on 3-under the card is Englishman Mark Foster. He experienced more of a rollercoaster round on course with his seven birdies counteracted by four bogeys.
Another South African, Dylan Frittelli, who shared a coach with Lombard when he was an amateur, is tied third after paring his way into the clubhouse. He is joined on the leaderboard by Victorian Ash Hall who is the best performing Aussie after the first round.
Rookie Professional Todd Sinnott was lighting up the course and was 6-under after 12 holes before disaster struck in the form of water.
Graham Marsh’s redesigned RACV Royal Pines Resort bared its teeth, with Sinnott finding the water three times in four holes resulting in six dropped shots.
He steadied the ship on the 18th to record a birdie to close his round on 1-under the card, he is joined on that number by New South Welshman Adam Stephens.
Rounding out the top-10 on even par are eight players including 2015 PGA Tour of Australasia Player of the Year Matt Millar, Englishman Tom Lewis, Irishman Paul Dunne, South African Jacques Kruyswijk, Spaniard Borja Virto Astudillo and Australians Nick Cullen, Jason Scrivener and Aaron Pike.
The highlight of the day belonged to Italian Filippo Bergamaschi who recorded his first ever hole-in-one. His ace at the par-3 5th hole at RACV Royal Pines Resort was the only standout in the 24-year-old’s round, as he went onto finish 9-over the card.
Also enduring a horrible day on course was American Brandt Snedeker who had 12-over the card to be languishing down the bottom end of the leaderboard. Remaining in an optimistic mood heading into the second round, Snedeker believes there is a low round waiting for him tomorrow as he battles to make the cut.
The second round of the Australian PGA Championship is underway at RACV Royal Pines Resort. For more information visit: http://championship.pga.org.au/