A freshly minted graduate of the PGA trainee scheme leads the Dubbo Regional Open after carding the round of his life, a course-record 63 in sweltering conditions.
Playing in the final group of the day because due to work commitments at Concord Golf Club yesterday, Jordan Widdicombe, who only got into the tournament field proper in the last week or so, threw the clubs in the car and made the trek west overnight.
- 4.30pm: wilkin nudges his nose in front
- 12.30: Doherty sets the morning low mark
- 10.45am: Cripps holding an early lead
- 7.45am: Seow gets Dubbo Open Underway
And if there were any remnants of travel fatigue from the five-hour journey, they were blown away pretty quickly.
“It’s a bit of a shock to me, to be honest. it’s very exciting.
“Just quality golf shots and not making any errors.
“My putter was also on today, and I really took advantage of it,” Widdicombe smiled.
he 25-year-old’s round was a faultless one. Starting on the 10th, Widdicombe turned in three-under 33 before lighting up the back nine with six birdies. It could have been one less had his chip for eagle on the last not bobbled out of the hole.
The course record is just the second in Widdicombe’s career, the first one coming at Jamberoo, near his home town of Kiama.
“That one was a little bit less, it was only two-under ,” he smiled.
However, today’s nine-under effort was against a far tougher field, which included PGA and European tour winners.
“I can’t really beleive it,” he replied when asked about the quality of the opposition playing this week.”But I’m really proud of how I handled myself out there, and I am looking forward to tomorrow.”
4.30pm: Wilkin nudges his nose in front
It’s a long way from Queensland to the tiny village of Yeoval, but for the first-round leader of the Dubbo regional Open, Aaron Wilkin, it isn’t too far at all.
Wilkin carded a tidy seven under 65 in warm conditions today and was cheered on by a small but committed gallery that included his grandmother June Stanbrook.
“Yeah, my nan was out there, I’m staying with her in Yeoval this week.”
It was pretty cool to have her walking around. She’s never done that before, and it was pretty good. So as long as she’s happy, I’m happy,” Wilkin smiled.
And happy they should’ve been too. Wilkin’s round included eight birdies and just a lone bogey. Pleased with his performance, the Queenslander admitted he much preferred play golf rather than spend his spare time practising golf, which during 2020, was about all he had to do.
“It’s been a long time between tournaments, so I’m getting into the swing of things now,” he added.
“I’ve played four four-rounders. I missed the first two cuts, but now I’ve got more golf under my belt, I’m feeling a lot more comfortable.”
“Hitting balls on the range doesnt do a lot for me.”
When pressed about what it would take to win tomorrow if the course and conditions remained as fast and as warm as it was, Wilkins said to would could be in the double digits under par.
“It depends on the weather. The course is hard, and I played prety well today.
“I made birdies on holes I didnt expect to, so another low score is doable.”
12.30: Doherty sets the morning low mark
Young gun Bradley Doherty has set the low mark of the morning to lead the Dubbo Regional Open at Dubbo Golf Club.
After starting his day on the 10th hole and turning one over, the Oatlands-based professional caught fire on his back nine, needing just 31 strokes to vault himself into a one-shot lead.
Aged just 21, Doherty is already a relatively old hand on Tour, graduating to the play for pay ranks straight from high school, aged just 17.
“I made a good start, but it slipped away with a bad double and a bogey.
“I had a really good front nine though, drove it really well. I had a lot of wedges into greens and made it really easy for myself.”
” I ususally hit the ball prety staight, so four under, I’m happy with that,” Doherty smiled.
The Netherlands Joost ter Veld and Murray Lott are already in the clubhouse in second place at three-under, while Tasmanian Simon Hawkes is also at three-under after six holes.
With the afternoon half of the draw now on course, some of the notables on course include Dylan Perry, Daniel Hillier, Matt Millar Rick Kulacz, Sung-Jin Yeo and Lincoln Tighe.
NSW and Australian Women’s Amateur Champion, Grace Kim, is competing against the men from the men’s tees and is currently one under after six holes in a tie for 12th place.
10.45am: Cripps holding an early lead
Sutherland’s Jayden Cripps is the early leader midway through the Morning on the opening day of the Dubbo region Open at Dubbo Golf Club.
Cripps is at three-under after 12 holes and leads by one from Nathan Miller. Five golfers, including Bradley Kivimets, Peter Martin, Bradley Doherty, Josh Gadd and Matias Sanchez, are at one under.
The lead has changed hands several times. However, the Dubbo layout is proving a worthy opponent and has already brought several players back to earth with a thud.
The Dubbo regional Open is part of the six-event NSW Regional Open Series run by Golf NSW as part of the lead up to the $400,000 NSW Open at Concord Golf Club next month.
7.45am: Seow gets Dubbo Open Underway
Chrystal clear skies and a pleasant 19 degree morning has greeted early starters in the Dubbo regional Open.
Singaporean Amateur Sebastian Seow got the field away, starting with three straight pars.
The condition of the course is perfect, and as Dimi Papadatos told golf NSW yesterday, to score well around here you are going to have to hit a lot of fairways and keep the ball under the hole as much as possible.
Papadatos is in one of the marquee groups of the day, teeing off alongside Two-time Australian Open Champion Peter Lonard and European Tour Winner Marcus Fraser.
Entry is free, but for those fans who can’t make it, follow the action and scores here at nswopen.com or on twitter @GolfNSW