Guest post by Andrew of From the Fairways Golf
An early morning -7 (65) from Jarrod Lyle has given the Australian the clubhouse lead after the opening round of the 2011 Emirates Australian Open.
It was an impressive start to the tournament by Lyle who took advantage of calm conditions to shoot 5 birdies and an eagle on the par-5, 14th which saw him hit a 7 iron to 3 feet.
The highest ranked golfer in the field, Dustin Johnson opened with a bogey on the par-4 10th but five consecutive birdies through 12 – 17 helped the American to turn at 3-under after bogeying the 18th (his 9th hole). Three birdies on the front nine (his back nine) helped the world #5 to finish with a 6-under par, 66.
Tournament drawcard Tiger Woods turned it up on the back 9 to sign off for a bogey-free 4-under (68) with at least 4 putts lipping out.
Top ranked Aussie, Jason Day got his round started with back to back birdies on holes 6 and 7 before stumbling on the 11th with a double bogey after laying up into the water. Birdies on 13 and 17 followed by a bogey on 18 helped Day record a -3 (69).
In disappointing scenes John Daly hit the wrong ball on the 10th before hitting numerous balls in the water on the next hole which saw the American throw in the towel. The PGA released a statement saying that, “The PGA does not need this kind of behaviour tarnishing the achievements of other players and the reputation of our tournaments. John is not welcome at Coolum.”
The pick of the afternoon golfers was American, Nick Watney who recorded five birdies in his final 6 holes for a 6-under par, 66 to sit just one shot off the pace.
The shot of the day went to 2009 champion, Adam Scott who holed a 6 iron on the par-5 8th for albatross on the way to a 3-under 69 which saw 2 bogies in the final 4 holes.
In other results of note:
Steven Jones, Fred Couples and Greg Chalmers all recorded rounds of 5-under par, 67. While 2010 champion, Geoff Ogilvy struggled with a 2-under round of 70 including five birdies and three bogeys.
After finishing in the dreaded position on the Nationwide tour money list after missing the final round of the second last tournament of the season, James Nitties bounced back to shoot a 5 under round of (67) which is promising for the youngster with Q-School coming up.
The leading amateur is 17 year old NSW golfer, Jake Higginbottom who shot 5 birdies and a bogey to finish at 5-under, 68.