Dan’s the man, big birdies on tap

Daniel Nisbet
Daniel Nisbet leads the NSW Open

Just like last year’s birdie-fuelled opening day of the NSW Open at Stonecutters Ridge, today’s opening round at Twin Creeks Golf & Country Club is continuing the tradition.

The hottest rounds of the day so far belong to Victorian Andrew Martin who was six-under through six, while 2016 Clearwater Bay Open winner Daniel Nisbet was the clubhouse leader at -8 after a flawless opening round, underpinning a morning of easy scoring on one of Sydney’s premier resort courses.

Nisbet is looking to add another top 10 result to what has been a challenging year so far for the 27-year-old Queenslander. His best result on the ISPS Handa PGA of Australasia has been a tie for eighth at the PNG Open back in May.

“We flew around the front nine,” Nisbet said.

“It was good weather out there … the greens are very receptive at the moment. But they might firm up later.”

When asked about his recent form, including the defence of his 2016 win at the Clearwater Bay Open in China, Nisbet said the focus was on the Australian summer.

“This is the build-up, this is the big stuff for us, so I’ve been trying to get my game where it needs to be.”

He started with four birdies on the front nine and continued with four more on the back.

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin

Andrew Martin, 33, has been in solid form of late, with a T18 in the WA Open, T21 in the NT PGA and a T35 in the Fiji International back in August. If the Victorian continues this form, he is likely to be a contender come the weekend.

Min Woo Lee
Min Woo Lee

Other standout rounds underway this morning have come from the amateurs, Min Woo Lee (-5) and Kazunori Asa (-3) who both took advantage of calm early morning conditions on the magnificent Graham Marsh-built complex in western Sydney.

Wollongong schoolboy Thomas Heaton – playing in his first professional tournament – holed out on the par-3 second (125m), which he then followed up with a birdie at the par-four third. Not a bad opening day for a 15-year-old schoolboy from Woonona High School in the Gong’s northern suburbs.

He is well-placed at 1-under after his first professional round. “I’ll rest up now, take it all in, and now I can relax more for tomorrow,” he said.

There is a bunch of well-known professionals lurking around the -3 mark with scores expected to go low throughout the day.

Nathan Green
Nathan Green celebrates an eagle on the ninth

One of those is former US PGA Tour winner Nathan Green who made the turn at -3 thanks to a holed bunker shot on the 9th on one of the more difficult pin positions on the front nine. He continued the good form the back nine with two more birdies to be at five-under with three to play.

Look out for the big names in the afternoon groups. Peter Lonard, Peter O’Malley, and Stephen Leaney – household names in Australian golf – who are teeing off in the next two hours, along with outstanding youngsters Harrison Endycott, Jason Scrivener and Brett Coletta.

Who can forget Coletta’s opening 10-under 62 at Stonecutters Ridge in last year’s NSW Open? Can he do it again, or will it be a bolter from a brilliant field.

Twin Creeks, in the heart of greater western Sydney, has been earning a reputation as one of the state’s premier golf resorts, and first-time visitors will be impressed by the resort’s presence and by the fact that you can walk the fairways and be close to the action.

It’s big, beautiful and with plenty of space for the thousands of visitors expected here over the next few days.

Join us throughout the day as we bring you online and social media updates, as well as facebook live events.

There will be a Foxtel live stream throughout the weekend which will bring you live coverage online.

Get down here and see some of the best in action in one of the most famous opening events of the Australian summer of golf.

Lunch Time Leaderboard
-8 D Nisbet
-7 M Lee (AM)
-6 A Townsend
-5 N Green
-5 A Price
-5 N Flanagan
-5 M Sim
-5 R Chisnall

Queensland Golf