AARON TOWNSEND and Adam Blyth led the Coca-Cola Queensland PGA Championship after the first round played at City Golf Club in Toowoomba.
The pair fired opening rounds of 6-under 64 to lead by one shot from Matthew Millar (ACT), Matt Jager (WA) and Brad Kennedy (QLD) early on the first day.
Victorian PGA champion Townsend has kept his winning form running into the Queensland event, avoiding the common performance lull the week after a victory.
“In the past I have been one to rest on my laurels a little bit and sort of relax. But because I have won early in the season I think that’s kept me motivated,” said Townsend, who spent the weekend at home in Sydney after his victory.
“It’s probably a longer time off than we are used too, so it could have helped me get over the win.”
“Last week was last week, it was fantastic but you can’t rest on that forever.”
For Queenslander Blyth, a new putter was nominated as a key to his performance in what were challenging weather conditions on Thursday.
“I putted really well today, 24 putts, which really helps in any kind of conditions. The new putter was a good choice to put in the bag this week,” said Blyth whose putter also ran hot in the 2014 New Zealand Open.
“I was thinking about it and I had 19 putts over at Millbrook, in similar conditions.”
“I just sort of slowed things down in my head and stopped trying to hole the putts, just started to try and put a good stroke on it. I guess they start falling when you let go of the handle a little.”
The pair was happy to have posted such a low number with the predicted possibly cyclonic weather placing a question mark over tournament play.
“I’d like to thank the Tour for giving me an early start so at least I got one round in,” added Townsend.
“If the weather is going to be how they predict we may not get out tomorrow. It’s going to be nice to sit on the lead”
Big hitting Kurt Barnes and South Pacific Open champion Adam Stephens played in the afternoon and recorded solid rounds of 4-under 66 with Leigh McKechnie a shot further back.
Rounding out the top-10 on 2-under 68 are a group of 10 players including PGA Tour of Australasia winners David Bransdon, Jason Norris, Anthony Brown, Scott Arnold and Ashley Hall.
The Queensland PGA Championship is scheduled to finish Sunday with
A prize purse of AU$120,000 is being played for, with the winner also receiving Official World Golf Ranking Points and becoming fully exempt on to the PGA Tour of Australasia for the remainder of this season plus a further two years.Queensland PGA Championship Leaderboard