[PHOTO: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images]
Former Australian Open winner Cameron Davis has taken advantage of benign early morning conditions and preferred lies to card a scintillating first round of nine-under 63 in the Australian Open.
Davis was five-under through his first five holes on the back nine of The Lakes Golf Club, which is co-hosting the Open with The Australian Golf Club. Out in six-under 31, Davis peeled off three more birdies on his inward nine.
The 2017 men’s champion holds a one-stroke advantage over American Patrick Rodgers (64) with young West Australian Hayden Hopewell (65) in third.
“I made a couple of more nice putts today to get that score keeping on going down, but it was a really solid round of golf,” Davis said. “I know this place relatively well, so I felt like I had plenty of good memories in the bank to go out and play the course with. That’s by far the cleanest round I’ve ever had around here. And without the wind it was awesome to make the most of the conditions the way they were.”
Last week’s Australian PGA champion Min Woo Lee opened with a five-under 67 at The Lakes, which is so far proving more receptive to good scoring. Teeing off in the afternoon at The Australian, Adam Scott was even-par through nine holes.
In the Women’s Australian Open, 16-year-old amateur Rachel Lee upstaged her namesake with a blistering six-under 67 at The Lakes.
Tournament favourite and world No.5 Minjee Lee opened with a three-under 70 in a rollercoaster round that featured just six pars. Teeing off on the 10th at The Lakes, Lee picked up two early birdies before dropping four shots in four holes, including a double-bogey at the par-3 18th. She rebounded brilliantly with six birdies on the front side.
Two-time major champion Jiyai Shin produced a flawless opening round of five-under 68 at The Lakes. The Korean has been in spectacular form this year with 17 top-five finishes, predominantly on the JLPGA circuit.
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