Reigning Queensland Open Champion Anthony Quayle and Victorian Deyen Lawson have smashed the Coffs Harbour East Lake course record to share the lead after the opening round of the Geoff King Motors North Coast Open.
Playing in the same group, the duo carded matching rounds of seven-under-par 63 in conditions perfect for scoring. They lead by two from New South Wales Justin Warren at five-under, with Queensland’s Christopher Wood and another NSW-based player, Andrew Evans, in a tie for 4th at four under.
Quayle was on fire early, turning in three under par. A hole-out eagle on the 2nd, (his 11th) saw him vault to five under and to a handy two-shot lead. Two more birdies on the 6th and the 9th (his last hole) were enough to ensure lunch was going to be a pleasant experience.
Quayle was a happy man with his opening round, although he admitted he was still a little bit sore after completing the Cancer Council’s Longest Day Challenge on Tuesday.
“I pulled up a little bit sore and sorry,” he confided. “I had reasonably low expectations, but the course is great, and I had good playing partners, so yeah, I finished nicely.
Regardless of his thoughts on his chances, Quayle was glad to be in a share of the lead.
“No matter where you play or what you play in, and we haven’t had much to play in this year, it always feels nice to be in the lead or roundabouts.
“It gets the juices flowing a bit and gives you a chance to compete; hole a putt under pressure or when you need to.”
Lawson, playing alongside Quayle, wasn’t to be outdone. The European Tour member turned for home at two-under just a shot back of Quayle.
After an untimely bogey on the second (his 11th) where Quayle made eagle, Lawson dropped to four behind. He quickly corrected the ship, however, with four straight birdies beginning at the next to get back to within a shot of the lead.
Birdies on the 8th (his 17th) and a remarkable hole-out from the sand on the last for another birdie were good enough to ensure the Gold Coast-based Victorian’s name was alongside Quayle’s on top of the leaderboard.
“Very happy with the round,” Lawson smiled. “Nine birdies, two bogeys, but I try not to remember them.
“Obviously I haven’t played a lot of competitive golf, but I’ve being doing lots of practice in the last couple of months and my game feels pretty good.”
“Anthony was going really low midway through the round, so I had to do something to keep up. He pushed me along,” he said.
If Lawson had any concerns about rust creeping into his game with the lack of competition due to COVID, his grandstand finish certainly dispelled it.
“I hit a good shot into the 8th, I thought the putt was short, but it got there.
“Then on the last, I come up short in the bunker. I’ve been working hard on my bunker shots and was fortunate to hole it; A good way to finish.”
Twenty nine players are at par or better after the opening round on the impressive Coffs Harbour layout. Lucas Higgins, Daniel Kolar and Billy Flanagan are the leading amateurs at one under, while Nathan Barbieri and Josh Armstrong carded matching one under par rounds in their professional debuts, both making three birdies and two bogeys.
James Conran carded three over par 73 in a quiet start to his professional career.
With the weather predicted to be wet for tomorrow’s final round, Officials have opted for a single, two-tee start with competitors playing in groups of four. Play will begin at 7.55 am with the leading group to tee of at 10.20 am.
Scores after RD1:
63 – Anthony Quayle , Deyen Lawson 65 – Justin Warren 66 – Christopher Wood , Andrew Evans 67 – Matthew Millar , David Bransdon 68 – James Grierson , Blake Windred , Jay Mackenzie 69 – Lucas Higgins , Adam Bland , Jason Norris , Matthew Griffin , Nathan Barbieri , Billy Flanagan , Josh Armstrong , Brett Rankin , Josh Clarke , Kade McBride , Daniel Kolar , Dale S Williamson 70 – Alex Edge , Aaron Townsend , Marcus Fraser , Dimitrios Papadatos , Lloyd Radcliffe , Beau Willett 71 – Jordan Zunic , Jake Higginbottom , John Lyras , Jason Perkin , Nathan Miller , Max Ford , Hyunsik Kong 72 – Joshua Stewart , Jason Barby , Karis Davidson , Becky Kay , Blaike Perkins , Jordan Mullaney , Peter Martin , Bradley Kivimets , Charlie Dann , Kyle Underwood 73 – Lincoln Tighe , Michael Wright , James Conran , Steven Jeffress , Daniel Gale , Jediah Morgan , Shae Wools-Cobb , Lindsay Ross , Lucien Tinkler , Bradley Doherty , Matt McLean , Nathan Waters 74 – Martin Dive , Jack Pountney , Sam Brazel , Simon Hawkes , Tim Hart , Doey Choi , Michael Harwood , Quinnton Croker , Kyle Michel , Matias Sanchez , Danny Nesbitt.
12.30pm : Lawson, Quayle sail into North Coast lead
Gold Coast-based Victorian Deyen Lawson and reigning Queensland Open Champion Anthony Quayle share the lead mid-way through the opening round of the Geoff King Motors North Coast Open at Coffs Harbour Golf Club.
The pair, playing together, carded matching seven-under-par 63’s in conditions perfect for scoring.
Quayle was on fire early, turning in three under par. A hole-out eagle on the 2nd, (his 11th) saw him vault to five under and out to a handy two-shot lead. Birdies on the 6th and the 9th (his last hole) were enough to ensure lunch was going to be a pleasant experience.
Lawson, playing alongside Quayle, wasn’t going to be outdone. The European Tour member turned for home just a shot back of Quayle, at two-under.
After an untimely bogey on the second which saw him drop to four behind, it didn’t take Lawson long to correct the ship with four straight birdies to get back to within a shot of Quayle’s lead.
Brides on the 8th (his 17th) and a remarkable hole-out from the sand on the last for birdie were good enough to ensure Lawson’s name was going to be at the top of the leaderboard.
With a remarkable 38 players currently at par or better on the impressive Coffs Harbour layout, players in the latter half of the draw will be looking to make a few birdies to ensure a late tee time for tomorrow’s final round.
The weather remains great for golf with the predicted afternoon shower or two looking like it could hold off in time to complete day one.
7.30am: North Coast Open Underway at Coffs
The Geoff King Motors North Coast Open is underway at Coffs Harbour Golf Club.
Play began at 7.25 am with the group of Max McCardle, Lincoln Tighe and Lucas Higgins getting the field away under clear skies, with a slight easterly breeze making things just right for low scores.
The temperature is expected to reach 28 degrees, and there is a strong chance of showers in the afternoon.
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