Golf: An puts Asia on the map with Australian Open lead
November 15, 2018
SYDNEY (Reuters) - South Korea’s An Byeong-hun eagled his penultimate hole to take a one-stroke lead after the opening round of the 104th Australian Open at a wet and windy Lakes Golf Club on Thursday. An, aiming to become the first Asian to lift the Stonehaven Cup, snaked a putt uphill into the hole from 25 feet with his third shot at the par-five eighth which, combined with five birdies and two bogeys, gave him a five-under-par 67. That was enough to give the former US Amateur champion a one-stroke advantage over Australians Matt Jager, who also bagged an eagle, and amateur David Micheluzzi, who was making his debut at his home Open. “It was good overall, everything was good,” said An, the son of two 1988 Olympic table tennis medallists. “There are a lot of holes with the side winds and you have to judge it perfectly. I think I got lucky with tee time today playing the back nine first when the wind was a bit less than on the front nine.” Mexican Abraham Ancer made light of his long journey to Sydney after playing on home soil at the Mayakoba Classic last weekend by brushing off a couple of early bogeys with five birdies on the back nine for a 69. Australians Marcus Fraser, Adam Stephens, Dimitrios Papadatos also shot 69s before the worst of the rain swept over the course, and they were later joined in a share of fourth by compatriots Blake Proverbs and Cameron Percy. Matt Kuchar, the highest-ranked player in the field and the winner of last weekend’s Mayakoba Classic, had one of the better rounds among the late starters, mixing two early bogeys with four birdies for a two-under 70.