Mixed day for McCall

Vaughan McCall.
Vaughan McCall.

Southland golfer Vaughan McCall had a mixed start to the Australian Master of Amateurs tournament at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club yesterday.

McCall shot a four-over par 76 in the opening round to be six shots behind the leaders.

Levin golfer Tyler Hodge is the best of the Kiwis after round one.

The New Zealand rep fired an even-par 72 in the gusting winds of the opening round at the West Course to be in a share of seventh place.

He will begin round two, two shots back from the lead.

Three players, Queenslanders James Gibellini and Simon Viitakangas, and Frazer Droop from Yarrawonga in Victoria share the lead on two-under par.

Hodge has shown that he has a great ability across the ditch. He won the Australian Junior Boys in Brisbane in 2012 for his breakthrough international win.

The left-hander also impressed on his senior debut for New Zealand when he finished as the leading Kiwi in the Four Nations Cup in South Africa in 2013 as New Zealand finished runner up by one shot. There were patches of sunshine throughout the day but the gusty conditions made consistent shot making difficult. More than half the field of 53 is within four shots of the lead.

American-based Kiwi Nick Voke (74) began solidly while Joshua Munn (75), McCall (76) and Luke Toomey (78) got off to mixed starts. 

Defending Australian Master of the Amateurs Champion Viraat Badhwar finished the day one over the card, while the highest ranked player in the field, Jordan Niebrugge, is four over.

Elite amateurs from 10 countries are taking part in this tournament which includes a World Cup and Australia leads that competition by one shot with the Kiwis McCall and Munn five shots back.

The Southland Times