Victorian pro Blake Collyer rattled around Concord in a tournament-low 62 today to seize the lead in the Golf Challenge NSW Open.
Collyer, 25, a genial third-year pro from Melbourne, rolled in a five-footer for birdie at the 18th hole today to complete a superb day in excellent scoring conditions.
He had eight birdies for the day and a hole-out eagle from 79 metres at the par-four fifth. “I was aiming a bit left. One bounce and straight in,” he said.
Collyer has his eye in at Concord this week, having had a hole-in-one at the 14th hole on Thursday. “Yesterday I played quite well but just couldn’t get putts to drop and momentum,” he said.
“I’m seeing the shots really well. These greens are smooth and got a nice bounce to them. I’m liking that.”
Although 62 is lower than the course record 65 held by Ewan Porter, it won’t count for record-keeping because of the lift-clean-place rules in place this week due to the wet course conditions.
His withering run of five birdies in the last six holes today saw him overtake Dimi Papadatos, Jordan Zunic and Jarryd Felton on top of the leaderboard at 14 under par, two shots ahead.
Papadatos looked like a man in a hurry today, and that’s because he was. The New South Wales professional shot 66, posted 12-under overall, then jumped in a car to officiate as best man at one of his closest friends’ weddings.
This afternoon he will be in Wollongong delivering the speech at fellow-professional Lincoln Tighe’s wedding, they’ll share the celebration tonight and then tomorrow, he will be back at Concord to win a golf tournament that could set up his future in the game.
The Central Coast player has already won the Vic Open on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia this season, which means that he can lock up his top-three position in the Order Of Merit if he wins this week. That would secure a DP World Tour playing card for next season, and potentially prove to be a turning point in his career.
Certainly he came out firing after his opening 64, starting at 7.30am on the 10th hole and making birdie at his first two holes. Four front nine birdies helped him to a five-under par 66 and kept him in contention, before he headed off to suit up for the wedding. “It wasn’t my best but I’m happy with where I’m at,” said Papadatos. “It’s an exciting day today and there’s a lot of things on my mind so it’s good to stay focused. It’s sstill a good opportunity regardless of how tonight goes. I’m looking forward to tonight catching up with the boys.”
Felton had three birdies but his eagle three at the par-five 15th was the signature moment of the day for the Perth pro, who like Papadatos, has a chance to pick up a European card if he plays well enough this week in Sydney.