POSITIVE: Blake Windred was the leading Hunter golfer on day one following a three-under 69. Picture: Jonathan Carroll.BLAKE Windred followed his Lake Macquarie Amateurgame plan to a tee on Thursday bykeeping in touchwith the leaders,despitedrawingadifficult afternoon tee-off.
The 18-year-old Charlestown member’s three-under 69 was the second-lowest score of the afternoon group at Belmont and placed him eighth andfour strokes behind Western Australian leader Ben Ferguson (65).
Temperatures reached 35 degrees in the afternoon, but Windred still managed four birdies and one bogey.
Windred will tee off in the morning on Friday and sees that as his best opportunity to chase down the leaders.
“When I saw that I was off in the afternoon and saw how hot it was going to be, I thought I’ve got to get through today a couple under and set it up for the next round when I’m off in the morning,” Windred said.
“Definitely tomorrow morning if I can get some good conditions and turn through nine a few under and hole some putts on the back nine, thenyou never know.”
Ferguson was impressive in the morning, carding an eagle, seven bogeys and two bogeys. Daniel Kolar (66), Cameron John (67) and James Grierson (67) also tamed Belmont’s seaside layout.
The Vintage’s Dylan Perry (70) keptHunter hopes alive when he carded a near flawless round, before bogeying the 18th.
The South Koreans were expected to dominant the women’s division and the prediction proved correct.
MISTAKE: Hannah Green’s round was ruined by a tee shot on the seventh, which sailed over the fence and resulted in a triple bogey. Picture: Jonathan Carroll.
Last week’s Australian Amateur champion,Min-Ji Park, opened with five-under 68 in the morning groupto take a one-shot lead over fellow KoreansHye-Jin Choi andGa-Young Lee.
West Australian and Belmont favourite, Hannah Green, was breathing down Park’s neck at five under through her first 15holes.
On the sevenththe Australian No.1unravelled when she sliced theball off the tee and over a fence. Green finished with a triple bogey and then lostanother shot on the next holeto beeighthon 72.
Robyn Choi, from the Gold Coast’s Royal Pines, carded 70 to sit fourth and isthe only Australian in the top seven.