IT was literally on for young and old in the first round of the 2016 Australian Open with two 20 year old’s in Curtis Luck and Lucas Herbert making the early running only to be hauled in by 51 year old Peter O’Malley.
Luck and Herbert finished at 5-under at Royal Sydney while an unfortunate final hole bogey saw O’Malley slip back to 4-under to be second with a number of others.
Amateur Luck (67) has had a dream run of late and showed why there is so much faith in his future by easily fitting in with his very high profile professional playing partners Jordan Spieth (69) and Geoff Ogilvy (70).
Luck, who it seems is planning on turning pro after he plays the US Masters next year, was right at home in front of the big crowds following Spieth.
“Yeah, it’s awesome. The crowd were great today. It was a lot of fun playing in front of them, and hopefully we get a good one tomorrow,” he said.
Luck won the US amateur this year as well as the Asian amateur and so far has three major starts next year.
Victoria’s Herbert is a newly turned pro who tied for eighth at the NSW Open last week, a performance that persuaded Golf Australia to offer him a spot in the field at Royal Sydney.
O’Malley’s performance was very popular with the big crowds and only came unstuck when he put his tee shot on the 18th left into the trees and ended up with a bogey to finish on 4-under.
O’Malley said he was helped as a member with a bit of local knowledge and apart from his final tee shot was very happy overall with his round, one of his best ever on the course.
“Yeah, yeah, just had the nervous tings out there today. It’s what you play golf for. It’s just that buzz when you’re playing good golf. That’s what we all do it for,” O’Malley said.
He was tied with Ryan Fox, Benjamin Clementson and Adam Burnett. Spieth was a further shot back after his opening 69 while Adam Scott. World No. 7 Adam Scott began with an even-par 72.
Scott will be in the morning flight on Friday with Spieth playing in the afternoon.
2016 Australian Open 1st Round Highlights Video