Moore Park’s Michael Williams and Lucie Quilliam have mastered the first day of the 2023 Srixon NSW Mid-Amateur, shooting to the top of the leaderboards.
After almost not making his tee time this morning, Williams shot three under at Ocean Shores Country Club, finishing with a score of 69.
“So this morning I actually had a bit of a debacle, the guy I came with planned on getting here 40 minutes early but for some reason three different navigation maps kept taking us to the wrong place,” he said.
“When we finally got here, we registered and went straight to the tee, so it wasn’t the best warm up.”
Despite the rush he seemed relaxed, recording birdies on the 5th, 7th and 10th holes in an impressive bogey free round.
“My game has been good, even coming into this, it’s just the putter that’s been a bit questionable, but I did a last minute’s putter switch and it seems to pay dividends today. I putted really well.”
Looking towards round two at Byron Bay tomorrow, Williams says his game plan is to stay patient, but be quietly aggressive.
“It’s a bit of a different course. I did play it a couple of years ago and the greens are pretty firm and fast from what I’ve heard,” he added.
“I think I’ve got to keep the fairways premium just so I can control the ball out of the fairways to the rough and just continue to putt well.”
Another player who almost didn’t make their tee time today was David Calvert, sitting tied second behind Williams.
“I haven’t had a game in a couple of weeks, and I nearly missed my tee time, I was trying to get my daughter organized this morning. So I’m just happy to be here. Very happy to play like that.”
Playing at his home club of Byron Bay, Calvert finished just one stroke away from the lead at minus two.
“I birded 7, 8 and 9 and that really got me going. 7 and 8 were tough holes so from there I just played pretty solid,” he said.
“My goal today was just to break 80, and to not have any doubles, so I’ll just try and have the same attitude tomorrow and see what happens.”
Here's some of the action from day 1 of the 2023 Srixon NSW Mid-Amateur at Byron Bay Golf Club! 🏌️ #NSWMidAmateurPosted by Golf NSW on Sunday, 21 May 2023
2020 Women’s Champion Lucie Quilliam seemed to be looking for another Mid-Amateur title at Byron Bay today, finishing her round on 81 and in the lead for the womens division.
She said the round started a little shaky though.
“My first shot of the day went straight into the practice area, so it was an instant penalty. I managed to scramble five on the first, and then doubled the second, so I just thought I need to get my act together and just knuckle down.”
And knuckle down she did, managing to get three birdies in her back nine.
“It’s not an easy course. If I got a bogey I told myself that was fine and then on the back nine I got a few birdies and that kind of made flat of the score I think,” she said.
“I just started hitting it properly. Made a few good up and downs, made a few good putts.”
For Quilliam the day was a welcome change, saying her game hasn’t been the best lately.
“Look, I’m really happy. I came in with no expectations and I’ve been playing some dire golf the last sort of five months so to hit it alright on this first round was great but tomorrow’s another day.”
“It’s great to be up here in the sunshine. I just love the Mid-Amateur, it’s fun, the people are always good to play with. I had a great group today and we were laughing all round and relaxed. It was a good day.”
Round two will be played at both Byron Bay and Ocean Shores tomorrow, with the first group to tee off at 7:15am.