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Locals lead after Round 1 of men’s, women’s Australian Open

Australia’s Grace Kim prepares to putt on the twelfth gap throughout the Australian Open golf championship at Kingston Heath golf course in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022.

  • Australia's Grace Kim prepares to putt on the 12th hole during the Australian Open golf championship at Kingston Heath golf course in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022.
  • Australia's Matt Jones plays an approach shot on the 8th hole during the Australian Open golf championship at Victoria golf course in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022.
  • Denmark's Rasmus Hojgaard tees off on the sixth hole during the Australian Open golf championship at Victoria golf course in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022.
  • Australia's Minjee Lee reacts on the fourth hole during the Australian Open golf championship at Victoria golf course in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022.
  • United States' Jennifer Kupcho tees off on the fourth hole during the Australian Open golf championship at Victoria golf course in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022.
  • Australia's Grace Kim tees off on the 14th hole during the Australian Open golf championship at Kingston Heath golf course in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022.

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Native skilled David Micheluzzi shot a course-record equaling 7-under 63 Thursday to take the first-round lead on the Australian Open the place the lads’s and ladies’s championships are being performed concurrently for the primary time.

Micheluzzi rode a sizzling putter to roll in eight birdies to match the course information of fellow Australians Geoff Ogilvy (2011) and Ryan Ruffels (2014) at Victoria Golf Membership.

The 26-year-old Micheluzzi, who turned professional in 2019, grew up studying the sport at programs like Victoria and Kingston Heath that type a part of the famend sandbelt programs within the southeast bayside suburbs of Melbourne.

“I’ve been right here a 100 occasions, so, I do know this course prefer it’s the again of my hand and I received the putter going too, which was form of good,” he mentioned.

You are reading: Locals lead after Round 1 of men’s, women’s Australian Open

Micheluzzi is without doubt one of the hottest gamers in latest months on the Australasian PGA tour after his debut professional win within the Western Australian PGA six weeks in the past. He additionally completed tied for seventh on the WA Open, tied for eighth on the Queensland PGA and was sixth finally week’s Australian PGA at Royal Queensland.

One other Australian, Grace Kim, led the ladies’s discipline with a 7-under 66 at close by Kingston Heath that can also be getting used for the primary two rounds of the championships the place women and men play in alternate threesomes on the two programs.

Kim, 21, who has earned her LPGA Tour card for subsequent 12 months, began with 5 consecutive birdies as she loved the higher morning circumstances earlier than the wind freshened for the afternoon teams.

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“I used to be undoubtedly nervous firstly as a result of I haven’t performed a match in over a month now,” mentioned Kim, who has been dwelling in Sydney the previous month. “I received extra nervous because the holes went on. I used to be identical to, ‘the place are these birdies coming from?’ You realize these occasions the place it simply goes in, I had a kind of moments.”

Australian Hannah Inexperienced and South Korea’s Jiyai Shin additionally had 68s at Kingston Heath. Karrie Webb got here out of semi-retirement to shoot a 5-over 77 at Victoria.

Inexperienced had the honour of hitting the primary tee shot from the tenth tee at 7 a.m. and opened with a two-putt birdie on the par 5.

She adopted that up with an 8-iron to 6 ft for birdie on the par-3 eleventh and had the course at her mercy when she received to six-under by way of 10 holes.

“I performed a match with my fiancé on Monday and I believe I most likely had the identical quantity of birdies on the 9, so I knew it was on the market,” Inexperienced mentioned.

Micheluzzi has a three-shot buffer on one other native participant Matt Griffin and New Zealand’s Josh Geary. Griffin, who performs on the Japan tour, grew up in a home throughout the street from Victoria’s thirteenth gap.

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Minjee Lee, one of many pre-tournament ladies’s favorites, made a gentle begin to end with a 2-under 70 at Victoria, upstaging youthful brother Min Woo Lee who might solely handle an even-par 70 at Victoria.

Adam Scott completed with a 1-under 71 at Kingston Heath whereas Marc Leishman shot 70 and Australian PGA and British Open champion Cameron Smith shot 71, each at Victoria.

There shall be a 36-hole reduce of the highest 60 and ties for each championships on Friday and a second reduce of the highest 30 and ties following play on Saturday. The ultimate two rounds shall be performed at Victoria Golf Membership.

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Extra AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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