Snedeker blown away at Australian PGA

Australian PGA Championship tournament drawcard Brandt Snedeker has faced the worst of Thursday morning’s opening round conditions and been belted from Ashmore to Breakfast, limping home with a 12-over par round of 84.

Remarkably, there were three players behind the world number 34 as wild conditions buffeted the Gold Coast from dawn. For those that attended last week’s first round of the Australian Open and experienced the windy conditions that grew from bad to worse as the day progress, today was not too dissimilar – except in reverse.

Conditions improved marginally for the afternoon players but the damage was done for Snedeker, who was out in the second group off the 10th tee at RACV Royal Pines in the company of John Senden (73) and Peter Uihlein (75).

“Just a horrible day, there’s nothing else to say,” he said,

“I wish I could put a positive spin on it but I got off to a bad start, compounded my errors and then didn’t do anything really, really well. Not one positive thing can I take out of a day like today, so it’s frustrating to say the least, to come down here and play like that.”

“I played with Senden and he played a really solid round of golf and played good, so I knew it was out there, it’s just not firing on all cylinders, the wind’s blowing the way it is out here, your mistakes are exacerbated and mine were and just couldn’t seem to get anything going at all.”

“I putted bad, chipped it bad, hit it bad off the tee and hit bad iron shots, you’re not going to play good. I don’t know, that was proof of that today.

“Hopefully I can go to the range this afternoon and try to work on a few things and tomorrow make sure I come out and shoot something stupid low and stick around for the weekend.”

By contrast, unheralded South African Zander Lombard completed the finishing touches to a first round 67 at around 5.30pm Gold Coast-time, with the wind still blowing strongly.

He leads the PGA Championship by two strokes from England’s Mark Foster (69) with another South African Dylan Frittelli and Australia’s Ashely Hall in the clubhouse at 2-under 70.

Other notables to have started strongly included Nick Cullen, England’s Tom Lewis and Northern Ireland’s Paul Dunne at even par.

Dunne has recently turned professional and earned his European Tour card after a remarkable performance as an amateur at The Open Championship at St Andrews this year, where he played in the final group on Sunday with Louis Oosthuizen.

2015 Memorial Tournament winner David Lingmerth from Sweden survived an early tee time draw with a 1-over round of 73, tied in a group that includes Senden, Richard Green and Jordan Zunic.