Jordan Zunic has overcome gusting winds and blistering heat to be co-leader at 7-under, while debutant Blake Windred battled to an even par 72 after the opening round of the TX Civil & Logistics WA PGA Championship.
The 38-degree heat at Kalgoorlie Golf Club did little to deter the New South Welshman who carded a bogey-free round in the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia tournament.
“It’s super hot out there, so I’m glad to be all done for the day, but I felt really good out there,” Zunic said.
“I hit the ball quite well, and I putted really well too.
“You can always make birdies when you’re holing the putts so it was nice to roll a few in today and start the week off well.”
Winds caused the red dust of the outback to swirl and make shots challenging for the afternoon field.
“The wind was a little tricky. I found that it blows and feels strong, but I find that it doesn’t seem to affect the ball that much,” he said.
“The air might be a bit thinner compared to when we play on the coast with the breeze that seems to get your ball.
“I found it quite tricky, and we did get stumped by the wind on a few holes, so it was a little tricky and required a little bit more concentration.”
A birdie on the 18th was the icing on the cake for the 2018 Isuzu Queensland Open champion who will look to take advantage of cooler conditions when he takes to the 10th tee at 7:25 am tomorrow.
“That was nice to get it on the green in two there, just in that middle tier and roll on down there and have a tap in for birdie to finish off the day,” he said.
“I can’t wait to get out here tomorrow morning. I think the forecast is cooler for the day, so obviously it’s going to be nice compared to today. I’m looking forward to it.”
Sitting alongside Zunic is Western Australia’s Jarryd Felton who also carded an opening round of 7-under 65 at Kalgoorlie Golf Club.
Teeing off early in the morning field alongside Josh Younger and former Aussie amateur champ Matias Sanchez who was making his Professional debut, Felton was pleased with the result but felt there was room for improvement.
An eagle on his final hole was the highlight of the round for the Perth local whose affinity with the Goldfields layout has paid dividends.
“I can’t be disappointed with a 65, but I left a lot of shots out there as well,” Felton said.
Felton is alongside elite company at the top of the leaderboard, just one shot ahead of fellow West Australian and 2015 WA PGA Championship winner Brett Rumford.
“It feels pretty good,” Felton said. “We wore the same outfit today as well, so there’s something in that I think.”
Rumford, who has made a remarkable recovery since undergoing wrist surgery last November, sits in third place alongside Matt Jager after firing an impressive round of 6-under 66 this morning.
“It was there for the taking. There was no wind. It got up maybe just a little bit on the back-nine, but it was still playable,” Rumford said.
Former west Aussie Matt Jager endured a rollercoaster opening round at the WA PGA Championship where three bogeys and nine birdies took him to his 6-under total.
Three players sit in a tie for fifth at five-under, Western Australian Haydn Barron, David Michelluzzi and James Marchesani.
Newcastle’s Blake Windred, making his professional debut, carded an even-par 72 to sit in a tie for 39th.