Tournament: ISPS HANDA Australian Open
DP World Tour Rankings: Tournament 3 of 39 events
Venue: Victoria GC and Kingston Heath GC, Melbourne, Australia
Prize Fund: AU$1,700,000
Hashtag: #AusOpenGolf #DPWT
Round One Report
David Micheluzzi fired his lowest DP World Tour round to open up a three-shot lead after day one of the ISPS HANDA Australian Open.
The local favourite has enjoyed an excellent start to the season on home soil, securing a maiden top ten last week in Brisbane, and he has brought that form south with him to Melbourne.
The 26-year-old carded a 63 at Victoria Golf Club to get to seven under and lead the way from countryman Matthew Griffin and Kiwi Josh Geary.
Australia’s national open is breaking new ground this week with 300 players taking part across the men’s, women’s and All Abilities championships.
In the women’s event, Australia’s Grace Kim carded a course-record 66 at Kingston Heath Golf Club to sit at seven under, two ahead of compatriot Hannah Green and South Korea’s Jiyai Shin.
Micheluzzi is a recent winner on the PGA Tour of Australasia, lifting the trophy at the CKB WA PGA Championship presented by TX Civil & Logistics, and he was delighted to tie the course record on Melbourne’s famed Sandbelt.
Griffin had six birdies and two bogeys in his round to join Geary at four under, one shot clear of a group of six players. Among them was Dane Nicolai Højgaard, with the two-time DP World Tour winner making four birdies and a bogey in his 67 at Victoria.
Home trio Haydn Barron, Zinyo Garcia and Connor McKinney were also four shots off the lead alongside Frenchman Pierre Pineau and American Gunner Wiebe.
David Micheluzzi: “The last probably few weeks or the win in WA, that third day and the last day was pretty much how I’ve been hitting it the last five months. I hadn’t played amazing golf over the last stretch, even last week wasn’t amazing, just plodded around. I only had four bogeys and a double for the week, so I did well with the management, but I’ve been here a hundred times. So, I know this course like it’s the back of my hand and I got the putter going too, which was kind of nice.
“Just everything. I’ve just gotten better at everything. I feel like my course management’s really good all the time. I know how to think around a golf course. Just hitting it better, just comfortable with playing these events now. I think this is what, our seventh event in the space of nine weeks, so yeah, just being comfortable in the situation. I think everything today just felt good. I actually wanted to keep playing, so I reckon I could have made a whole lot more birdies.
“I think when I turned pro it was scary. It was the first time I’ve actually been scared on a golf course, scared of where I’m going to hit it and if I’m going to hit it in the trees or in the bunker. I was worried about what everyone else thought rather than just playing golf. I think the more experience, the better. I think I’ve played enough pro events now that it’s just another round of golf. If I shoot 75, 76 I still go home, Mum tells me to unload the dishwasher, all that kind of stuff. It just feels like a normal round of golf now, which is great. But three years ago, when I turned pro I was so uncomfortable and it showed – the golf was horrendous.
“Just performance anxiety, it comes out of nowhere. I had it badly and I had burnout in early 2020, just from playing too much golf. It all just compounded and basically I had to start from scratch, just learning how to play golf again kind of. I knew how to swing a golf club but actually managing your way around a golf course. That was my strength back in the day and I lost it. Then it’s taken me almost two years to actually find out how to do it again, which is kind of weird.”
“I think every pro goes through it at some stage. I think some of the best players in the world have gone through that, where they feel like they can’t hit a 3-footer into the hole or they can’t hit a drive down a 60-metre wide fairway. It’s just a weird thing, the brain. I’m glad that I’ve come out the other side of it and hopefully the next few years are really good.”
Round One Scores
63 D MICHELUZZI (AUS),
66 M GRIFFIN (AUS),
68 J GEARY (NZL),
67 P PINEAU (FRA), N H?JGAARD (DEN), C MCKINNEY (AUS), Z GARCIA (AUS),
69 H BARRON (AUS), G WIEBE (USA),
68 H ENDYCOTT (AUS), T LEWIS (ENG), L HIGGINS (AUS), N VOKE (NZL), V MEYER (GER), D IEREMIA (NZL), C PURCELL (IRL), P COOKE (AUS),
70 K OKADA (AM) (JPN), L HERBERT (AUS), R HISATSUNE (JPN), P LONARD (AUS), C PERCY (AUS),
69 T KANAYA (JPN), D LAWSON (AUS), E SMYLIE (AUS), C WOOD (AUS), D BLING (USA), T SINNOTT (AUS), L JOHNSTON (SCO),
71 W ORMSBY (AUS), A SCOTT (AUS), G CHALMERS (AUS),
70 M JONES (AUS), M LEISHMAN (AUS), M LEE (AUS), J ARMSTRONG (AUS), A WILKIN (AUS), M FRASER (AUS), P SAGOO (ENG), S ARNOLD (AUS), J ZUNIC (AUS), A CA?IZARES (ESP), T POWER HORAN (AUS), T PILKADARIS (AUS), J MURDOCH (AUS),
72 N FLANAGAN (AUS), M MILLAR (AUS), B COLLYER (AUS), C CRAWFORD (AUS), J LYRAS (AUS), D KLEIN (AUS), D HOWELL (ENG), B COLETTA (AUS), W DING (AM) (CHN), J SCRIVENER (AUS), G OGILVY (AUS), J MORGAN (AUS), K BITTLE (NZL), J MUNRO (AUS), J HUGHES (AUS), S WOOLS COBB (AUS),
71 D LOYPUR (AUS), C SMITH (AUS), Z MURRAY (AUS), J PARRY (ENG), J NORRIS (AUS), P O’MALLEY (AUS), D HORSEY (ENG), D ACKERMAN (USA), L TOOMEY (NZL), C DANN (AUS),
73 L FLYNN (AUS), D BRANSDON (AUS), M SIM (AUS), J WARREN (AUS), A MARTIN (AUS), B ECCLES (AUS), B WHARTON (AUS), J BUGDALSKI (AUS), K REITAN (NOR), H HOPEWELL (AUS), C DAVIS (AUS), J FELTON (AUS), D PAPADATOS (AUS), J THOMPSON (AUS),
72 R H?JGAARD (DEN), B WINDRED (AUS), L BROWN (NZL), A BAUTISTA (AUS), M HENDRY (NZL), L DOBBELAAR (AUS), H BATEMAN (NZL), S JEFFRESS (AUS), R CHISNALL (NZL), L BARKER (AUS), J MULLANEY (AUS),
74 J MARCHESANI (AUS), A PIKE (AUS), L TIGHE (AUS), S HAWKES (AUS), H CROWE (AM) (AUS), R MCEVOY (ENG),
73 A MERONK (POL), S ALLAN (AUS), R FOX (NZL), P FOWLER (AUS), D GALE (AUS), P WILSON (AUS), B RANKIN (AUS), D BECK (AUS),
75 J HIGGINBOTTOM (AUS), D HILLIER (NZL), B BECKER (AUS), J ARNOLD (AUS), J CARTER (AUS), M STIEGER (AUS), A GARCIA-HEREDIA (ESP), J SENDEN (AUS), T KENNEDY (AUS), T WALKER (AM) (AUS),
74 M ANTCLIFF (AUS), M MCCARDLE (AUS), J BUCHANAN (AM) (AUS), Y LIU (CHN), S EAVES (AUS),
76 D PERRY (AUS), C JOHN (AUS), R BLIZARD (AUS), J WANG (KOR),
75 K MCBRIDE (AUS),
77 J MACKENZIE (AUS), M WRIGHT (AUS), A HALL (AUS), S STRANGE (AUS), D BRERETON (AUS), A BLYTH (AUS), R ALLENBY (AUS),
76 J MCLEOD (AUS), B PROVERBS (AUS),
78 N BARBIERI (AUS), O FARR (WAL), M HUTSON (NZL),
77 D O’LOUGHLIN (ENG), C BARROW (ENG),
79 W HEFFERNAN (AUS), E DONOGHUE (AUS), J GUAN (AM) (AUS),
78 T HART (AUS),
80 C LEE (NZL),
79 A PAVAN (ITA),
81 K MUIR (NZL),
82 A CAMPBELL (AUS),
81 C ECCLESTON (AUS), B CAMPBELL (AUS),
84 L CURTIS (AUS),
OUT M KAWAMURA (JPN),