Moonah wins first round on points - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Moonah wins first round on points

By Mike Hedge 18/12/2003 07:10:54 PM Comments (0)

The golf course won a points decision in the opening round of the Australian Open, but the clear impression was that a knockout blow could come at any minute.

Only 30 of the 123 players got the better of the Moonah Links layout, the best of them a journeyman golfer from NSW.

Chris Downes teed off early when the weather was dry and calm - and he made the most of it shooting a five-under par 67.

Another New South Welshman, Peter Lonard, is a shot behind after a 68 with six players on 69, including American Ricky Barnes, Sydney's Craig Parry and the unnecessarily damp Stuart Appleby.

Downes freely admitted his gratitude for having played early before drenching rain began to fall.

"We played our first four holes without any wind and there was only a sprinkle of rain on the last hole," Downes said.

"I had it pretty good."

Soon after Downes finished his round the heavens opened, just as Appleby was making birdie at the first and just before he discovered his caddy had forgotten their umbrella.

Appleby went on to birdie the next two holes to be three under and seemingly on the way to a flying start.

But as it did to so many others, the course struck back, leaving him with a round that resembled one of Moonah's undulating greens.

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