Australia’s Matthew Guyatt upstaged the marquee players at the Australian Masters on Thursday, shooting a 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead after the first round at Kingston Heath.
Adam Scott had five birdies on his final nine holes for a 67 and was tied for second with defending champion Ian Poulter of England and New Zealander Michael Hendry.
Former Australian Masters champion Stuart Appleby had a 71, as did 2010 U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, who was playing in the same group as Scott.
”It was a nice day,” said the 37-year-old Guyatt, who plays on the Japanese Challenge tour. ”I have never been in this position before. It’s what you do all the hard work and practice for. I am not going to get ahead of myself.
”It’s the first day of four and we all know it takes four good days to win the tournament, particularly when you look at the caliber of those guys.”
Poulter, who won the World Golf Championship’s HSBC Champions in China two weeks ago, was satisfied with his score.
”I feel 5 under is a decent round,” he said. ”I made a couple of 30-foot putts, but missed a few short ones. But if the greens firm up, it’s going to be tough to get to some of those pins.”
Scott, who like Guyatt began his round on the 10th hole, birdied the first four holes on the front nine after starting off with a birdie and a bogey on the back nine.
”I just hit a few shots in there nice and close and had some chances but lipped out the putts, then missed a real short one on 18 out of frustration,” Scott said.
”I made a great putt on two and another good one on four then I was rolling from there. I hit a couple of nice shots and had a couple of short birdie chances too, so it was all really solid stuff.”