Fowler leads, Scott two behind at Aussie PGA
Rickie Fowler fired an 8-under 63 at RACV Royal Pines Resort to set a new course record and claim the opening round lead of the Australian PGA Championship on the Gold Coast.
The 24-year-old has a two stroke lead over Aussies Matthew Ballard, David McKenzie and 2013 Masters Champion and tournament drawcard, Adam Scott, who carded opening rounds of 6-under.
“I was a little bit slow on my front nine,” said Fowler, the current world number 43.
“I ended up making two birdies and turning two under. I just stayed patient and finally got a few things to go.”
Fowler’s aim is to get his game more consistent, with a particular focus on the Majors, yet he commented that he would take an opening 8-under round any day.
“Definitely a goal of mine going forward is trying to take my game to the next level and be as consistent as I can be to get myself ready to go and contend at Majors and be in the position that Adam Scott’s been in the last year.”
With all the tournament focus on Adam Scott, who is playing in his first Australian event since winning the green jacket, the world number two was enjoying the attention as he attempts to secure his first Australian PGA Championship crown.
“I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, playing here at home. It was fun today,” said Scott.
“The course is playing really well and I’ll enjoy the next three days. I’ve been looking forward to this month so there’s no reason why I shouldn’t enjoy the whole ride.”
Marc Leishman, who played with Fowler, couldn’t get his round going, ending up at 2-under to be in a tie for 19th.
Nathan Green has struggled lately with his game but the Novocastrian turned that around today with an opening round of 66 to be at 5-under and in outright fifth position, three behind Fowler.