Dismal day for Irish trio in first round of Australian PGA
Michael Hoey, Cormac Sharvin and Robin Dawson all sit a long way off the lead
Jake McLeod leads the Australian PGA Championship after round one. Photo: Dan Himbrechts/EPA
Home favourites Jake McLeod and Matt Jager shared the lead after the first round of the Australian PGA Championship having each posted a six-under-par 66 on the Gold Coast.
The pair are one shot ahead of their compatriot Dimitrios Papadatos and South Korea’s Jaewoong Eom.
Australians Marc Leishman, Jason Scrivener, Douglas Klein and Mathew Goggin are in a group of five on four under, alongside Spaniard Adrian Otaegui.
McLeod’s bogey-free round at RACV Royal Pines Resort featured six birdies, while Jager, who made one bogey, registered three birdies and two eagles.
It was a disastrous day for the trio of Irish players in action with all three well off the mark and likely to miss the cut on Friday. Michael Hoey carded three double bogeys on his back nine to lead to a six over par round of 78 while Cormac Sharvin – who recently missed out on his European Tour card after a bizarre turn of events in Spain – is at the same mark.
Recently turned professional Robin Dawson also missed out on his European Tour card at Q-School but, like Sharvin, did secure Challenge Tour rights. This week he received an invite for the event on the Gold Coast but just a solitary birdie, seven bogeys and a double bogey led to an opening round of 80 to leave him at eight over par.
Joint-leader McLeod has been in fine form of late, claiming his first professional win at the NSW Open earlier this month and then securing a top-three finish at the Australian Open.
He said in quotes on europeantour.com: “I’ve been playing well.
“I’ve just got to keep on doing what I’ve been doing. Anything can happen. If one of the other guys wins, obviously they win. So I’ll just go do what I can do and see what happens at the end of it.
“The whole game’s been pretty good and I’ve seen a new psychologist six months to a year ago now and the things we’ve been working on have been really good, so I think that’s definitely helped a lot.”
Jager said: “The eagles (that he made at the 12th and 15th, having started from the 10th) were a bonus. But in saying that, I just made some really nice swings.
“I put us in a position and just rolled a couple of putts in. You obviously don’t expect to do that but that was a bonus.”
There were 13 players at three under, including American Harold Varner III, English pair James Morrison and Tom Murray, Portugal’s Ricardo Gouveia, Ryan Fox of New Zealand and India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar.
Australia’s defending champion Cameron Smith and England’s Andrew Johnston were among a large group on two under.
Collated first round scores in the European Tour Australian PGA Championship, RACV Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (Britain unless stated, Irish in bold, par 72):
(a) denotes amateurs
66 Matt Jager (Aus), Jake McLeod (Aus)
67 Jae-woong Eom (Kor), Dimitrios Papadatos (Aus)
68 Jason Scrivener (Aus), Mathew Goggin (Aus), Douglas Klein (Aus), Marc Leishman (Aus), Adrian Otaegui (Spa)
69 Ricardo Gouveia (Por), Terry Pilkadaris (Aus), Harold Varner III (USA), Ryan Fox (Nzl), Steven Jeffress (Aus), Nick Flanagan (Aus), James Morrison, Damien Jordan (Aus), Tom Murray, Curtis Luck (Aus), Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind), Jarryd Felton (Aus), Aron Price (Aus)
70 Andrew Johnston, Daniel Gale (Aus), Paul Maddy, Simon Hawkes (Aus), Stephen Allan (Aus), Harrison Endycott (Aus), Adam Bland (Aus), Zack Murrary (Aus), Yechun Yuan (Chn), Alexander Knappe (Ger), Ashley Hall (Aus), Adam Blyth (Aus), Tim Stewart (Aus), Ben Eccles (Aus), Jordan Zunic (Aus), Anthony Quayle (Aus), Cameron John (Aus), Braden Becker (Aus), Jason Norris (Aus), Brad Moules (Aus), Gareth Paddison (Nzl), Cameron Smith (Aus), Robert Allenby (Aus), Sam Brazel (Aus), Ryan Chisnall (Nzl)
71 Craig Ross, Mark Brown (Nzl), Dale Williamson (Aus), Blake Proverbs (Aus), Richard Green (Aus), David Bransdon (Aus), Taylor MacDonald (Aus), Jack Senior, Christopher Wood (Aus), Gavin Green (Mal), Troy Merritt (USA), Oliver Farr, Ross McGowan
72 Matthew Millar (Aus), Rhein Gibson (Aus), Jonathan Thomson, Henric Sturehed (Swe), Josh Geary (Nzl), Michael Wright (Aus), Minkyu Kim (Kor), Austin Connelly (Can), Wade Ormsby (Aus), Aaron Cockerill (Can), Matthew Griffin (Aus), Paul Hayden (Aus), John Senden (Aus), Matthew Nixon, Aaron Pike (Aus), David Boote, Peter Senior (Aus), Ruben Sondjaja (Aus), Ryan Evans, Hugues Joannes (Bel)
73 Alex Edge (Aus), Aaron Wilkin (Aus), Jake Higginbottom (Aus), Daniel Fox (Aus), Peter Cooke (Aus), Geoff Ogilvy (Aus), Daan Huizing (Ned), Daniel Gavins, Renato Paratore (Ita), David McKenzie (Aus), Nathan Green (Aus), Sam Lee (Fij), Duncan Stewart, Kevin Muir (USA), Jun-seok Lee (Aus), Adam Burdett (Aus), Sean Crocker (USA), Scott Laycock (Aus), Aaron Townsend (Aus), Zi-hao Chen (Chn), Mitchell Brown (Aus), Darren Beck (Aus), Greg Chalmers (Aus), David Cooke (USA), Frazer Droop (Aus), Ryan Lynch (Aus), Peter O’Malley (Aus), Jack Munro (Aus)
74 Rory Bourke (Aus), Kieran Pratt (Aus), Michael Hendry (Nzl), James Nitties (Aus), Harry Ellis, James Marchesani (USA), Josh Younger (Aus), Matthew Stieger (Aus), Rod Pampling (Aus), Daniel Pearce (Nzl), Marco Iten (Swi), Robert Macintyre, Nick Taylor (Can), Peter Wilson (Aus)
75 David Smail (Nzl), Chris Duke (Aus), Cameron Davis (Aus), Brett Rankin (Aus), Matthew Lisk (Aus), Ben Clementson (Aus), Daniel Nisbet (Aus), Tim Hart (Aus), Rick Kulacz (Aus)
76 Dale Brandt-Richards (Aus), Nick Cullen (Aus), Deyen Lawson (Aus), Scott Hend (Aus), Matthew Guyatt (Aus), James Anstiss (Aus), Campbell Rawson (Aus), Max McCardle (Aus), Anthony Marchesani (Aus), Ewan Ferguson, Cory Crawford (Aus)
77 Mathew Perry (Nzl), Connor Syme, Adam Stephens (Aus), Jack Wilson (Aus), George Twyman, Jordan Mullaney (Aus)
78 Cormac Sharvin (NIrl), Michael Hoey (NIrl)
80 Robin Dawson (Irl), Lucas Herbert (Aus), Clement Berardo (Fra), Marcus Fraser (Aus)
82 Troy Moses (Aus)
84 Antonio Murdaca (Aus)