Concord Golf Club, 21 – 27 March 2022

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Wait a Min, the fight is just beginning

Wait a Min, the fight is just beginning

The stage is set for a thrilling weekend here in Sydney’s golf-rich west as a group of young guns and a 12-year tour veteran face each other for the Kel Nagle Cup.

Brisbane-born Andrew Dodt shook the field with his stunning 11-under 61 this morning, a round that included 11 birdies and which he later said was the round of his career to shoot to the top of the leaderboard at -14 in the 2019 AV Jennings NSW Open.

A brace of eagles, however, has kept West Australian Min Woo Lee in the hunt for his maiden professional title after a sublime 67 in difficult afternoon conditions at Twin Creeks Golf and Country as the course firmed and got faster in very warm conditions this afternoon.

Min Woo, 21, eagled the par-five 5th and 12th holes to be five-under in his second round. His eagle on 12 followed a spectacular long-iron to four feet and was followed by a birdie on the short par-four 12th (309m) where he played his second from behind the green.

The field settled after Dodt’s blazing start this morning in which he scored 11 birdies in his record-breaking round. Asked how he felt knowing Dodt had shot 61 in the morning, Min Woo was nonplussed.

“I don’t really care that much,” he said. “I can’t do anything about it, it’s just a number. I just had to go out and play and glad I shot five under.

“I’m proud of the way I handled myself on the course. Just happy with the way I played. It hasn’t been like that for a while.”

Travis Smyth on the 17th hole

Shellharbour’s Travis Smyth continued his excellent form with four birdies on his front nine (starting at the 10th) to finish at 10 under and be in a position to attack for his first title as a professional, having secured the Northern Territory PGA title as an amateur in 2017.

Victorian Cameron John has also moved up the leaderboard with a five-birdie round of 67 to be at -7 and in a tie for 8th in the championship.

Novocastrian Jake Higginbottom enjoyed another low round shooting a six-under 66 to be at -7, while New Zealander Denzel Ieremia had eight birdies and two bogeys in his 66 to comfortably make the cut this weekend.

Overnight leader Josh Younger played a solid round of two-under to be at -11 and very much in contention as the weekend looms. His round included three birdies and an eagle (on 11) but was also accompanied by three bogeys.

LEADERBOARD (after round 2)

-14 Andrew Dodt (NSW)
-13 Min Woo Lee (WA)
-11 Josh Younger (Vic)
-10 Travis Smyth (NSW)
-9 Justin Warren (NSW)
-8 Michael Pearce (NSW)
-7 Jake Higginbottom (NSW)
-7 James Marchesani (Vic)
-7 Cameron John (Vic)
-7 Christopher Wood (Qld)

Course record falls as Dodt delivers the round of his life

Thumbs up for 61: Andrew Dodt and his course record card

The course record was shadowed here at Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club this morning as Newscatle professional Andrew Dodt shot the round of his 12-year pro career to take the clubhouse lead in the AV Jennings NSW Open.

Dodt’s 61 included nine birdies and an eagle as he stormed up the leaderboard to finish the day at -14, three clear of overnight leader Josh Younger who added a two-under 70 to be 11-under and three back.

The 33-year-old Novocastrian opened with five birdies through the front nine, but when he made the turn the real fireworks began. Birdies on 10, 12, 13 and 15 and an eagle on 11 signalled something surreal was happening.

“That was the best round of my pro career so far,” said Dodt, who is playing in the event through special invitation from NSW Golf after the co-sanctioned Hong Kong was cancelled last week.

“I got hot around the turn and made a few birdies, and then I started getting a bit nervy, thinking ‘I’m getting pretty low here’,” he said.

Dodt knew he needed at least two birdies on his back nine to challenge last year’s course record of 62 held by eventual winner Jake McLeod.

“I didn’t really give myself great chances on the last three holes but all in all a great day’s work,” he said.

Andrew Dodt was peerless around Twin Creeks this morning

When asked if he considered the magic 59 was within reach, Dodt said: “I didn’t know what I was (score) but I had an inkling I was close. When you are in that zone it’s a really nice place to be.”

Fellow Novocastrian Jake Higginbottom enjoyed the morning’s other low round shooting a six-under 66 to be at -7, while New Zealander Denzel Ieremia had eight birdies and two bogeys in his 66 to comfortably make the cut this weekend.

Overnight leader Josh Younger played a solid round of two-under to be at -11 and very much in contention as the weekend looms. His round included three birdies and an eagle (on 11) but was also accompanied by three bogeys.

Dodt goes low, course record could fall

Andrew Dodt has moved into joint second place

Newcastle professional Andrew Dodt has made a strong start on day two of the AV Jennings NSW Open with nine birdies through 12 holes to hold a three-shot lead midway through his back nine.

Dodt, 33, fired five birdies on the front nine in still conditions at Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club in Sydney’s west, capitalising on excellent scoring conditions as players work to make it to the weekend.

His back nine started birdie, eagle, birdie to be at -9 and within reach of the Twin Creeks course record of 62 held by Jake McLeod, the 2018 AV Jennings NSW Open champion.

Birdies on 1, 2, 5, 8 and 9 were the highlights on Dodt’s scorecard as he quickly caught up with overnight leader Victorian Josh Younger (-9) who was even through the front nine after his stunning opening round of 63 yesterday.

Jake Higginbottom was four under for the day through nine holes

Dodt’s beautiful front nine was matched by Newcastle’s Jake Higginbottom who fired four birdies on his front nine and another on 11 to be in a tie for 8th halfway through the morning rounds.

Ireland’s Conor Purcell is also enjoying the mild conditions at Twin Creeks with six birdies on his blemish-free scorecard to be at -8 overall and one back from the lead. Purcell’s hot streak included three straight birdies on 15, 16 and 17.

Purcell, 21, is playing in his first tournament as a professional after announcing his decision earlier this week.

Seeking perfection: Day Two

Good morning everyone and welcome to Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club in Sydney’s west, home of the 2019 AV Jennings NSW Open.

It’s shaping up to be a magnificent day, with a top temperature of 34 degrees in the afternoon. Here’s the forecast from the Bureau of Meteorology.

Sydney area: Cloudy. Areas of smoke haze. Slight (10%) chance of a little drizzle early in the morning. Winds north to northeasterly 15 to 20 km/h becoming light in the middle of the day then becoming northeasterly 20 to 30 km/h in the early afternoon.

Interestingly, the forecast says the afternoon groups will begin in benign conditions before the winds pick up again.

Josh Younger carded a fine 63 in some trying conditions

It augurs well for another great day of low scoring – although Twin Creeks did show its toughness late yesterday, with plenty of run through the fairways and much faster greens than the morning rounds.

As tour veteran Mark Hensby noted this morning: “I couldn’t believe someone shot nine-under in those conditions yesterday,” he said, referring to Josh Younger’s stunning round yesterday.

Please come down to Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club and watch today’s action for yourself – it really is a spectacular golf course with many vantage points to watch the action.

Or stay with us throughout the day as we bring you all the action, reaction, inspiration, and magic from the premier event on the Golf NSW calendar.

First off this morning will be our overnight leader Josh Younger, who is starting the day with a one-shot lead. How will he fare, will he move further ahead, or will the young pack – led by Min Woo Lee – continue their charge for the Kel Nagle Cup?

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