Quartet share the lead at Australian Masters

Three professionals and an amateur lead the BetEasy Masters following round one of play today at Metropolitan Golf Club.

Melbourne lived up to its reputation for weather and put on an array of conditions for the players to manage.

Steve Bowditch Steve Bowditch (Credit: www.golffile.ie)

At the end of the day it was Michael Wright, Stephen Allan, Todd Sinnott and Steven Bowditch who handled the conditions best and topped the leaderboard at 5-under 67.

Wright was in the clubhouse first believing that the conditions suited him.

“It was brutal. In parts, there were times that it actually wasn’t that difficult on the downwind holes, but you turn around into the wind and it just becomes a beast,” said Wright.

“Looking back, it actually suits me. I hit the ball really low, so it suits me to a tee.”

Playing the Melbourne sandbelt for the first time since the 2012 Australian Masters, Stephen Allan’s preparations paid off today.

“Last time I played in the Sandbelt was the Masters two years ago, and I honestly played it like a rookie,” said Allan.

“I played like I’d never been here before, so I was kind of aware of that coming in. I made a point to do a lot of like chipping practise and just get the feel of the ball releasing and running out.”

Playing in the afternoon field Steven Bowditch finished the day tied for the lead however was less impressed with his performance.

“I didn’t feel like I played that great but I never really made any mistakes,” said Bowditch. “I hit some good shots early and didn’t really capitalise on them.”

Playing with Boo Weekley, Bowditch was happy to get one up on his mate.

“I’ve played with Boo a few times now. He’s beat me to death, so today I was going to make sure that didn’t happen,” said Bowditch who was also impressed by his other playing partner, amateur Todd Sinnott.

“He hit it so far. I haven’t seen someone hit it like that in a long time, and can play, too.”

“He’s an impressive player. He’s going to go some places.”

But for now Sinnott, who is a member at Metropolitan, is tied for the lead with Bowditch.

Sitting a shot off the lead is Rhein Gibson (NSW) who last week qualified for the final stage of Web.com Tour School and 2013 NSW Open champion Aron Price (NSW).

A further shot back again and rounding out the top-10 are Geoff Ogilvy (VIC), Peter Lonard (NSW), Kyle Stanley (USA), James Marchesani (VIC) and Josh Geary (NZ).