April 19, 2024

The Central Coast’s Lloyd Radcliffe holds a one-shot lead after the first round of the NSW Country Championship at Bathurst Golf Club.

Radcliffe carded a three-under-par 68 gusting northwesterly winds. Forbes Steven Betland, Maitland’s Hayden Gulliver and The Vintage’s Corey Lamb are in second after carding matching 69’s, while Steve’s brother John Betland and Royal Canberra’s Jordan Ayre sit in 5th place at one under.

Radcliffe, however, was impressive in the tough, dry conditions. On a day when minimising mistakes was paramount, the Kooindah Waters golfer handled it the best with just a solitary bogey on his card.

“I played alright, just steady.

” I only made one bogey; I just chipped it around for a little bit and chipped and putted pretty good, which saved me for the most part.

“To get 68 out of this sort of day was a good result,” the 23-year-old said.

Radcliffe, who is working at Kooindah Waters, is ready to test his game at a national level. After completing a degree in Chemistry and Physics in 2018, Radcliffe said he is keen to see how far he can go in the sport.

“I’ve been playing in a few of the national amateur events, the Queensland amateur, the Keperra Bowl.

” I thought I would give it a go while I am playing good golf and see where it goes,” he added.

Hard luck story must go to Steve Betland who would be rueing the finish of his round. After starting on the 7th hole, the Forbes tyro was an impressive six-under after eight holes. Sadly, the inability to keep his ball in the fairway from the tee proved costly, with five bogeys in his last eight holes.

Lamb, like Betland also had his chances, but several missed greens proved costly.

Hayden Gulliver will be quietly happy with his round four birdies and only two bogeys a testament to the Maitland Golfer’s consistency.

In the teams section, Lachlan Valley holds a slim two-shot lead over the Hunter River. The ACT Monaro sits another two shots behind with Golf Illawarra in 4th place.

Defending champs, the Central West have their work cut out for themselves, sitting in 5th place at 11 over.

Action in the final round begins tomorrow at 7.30am with a shotgun start.