Surprise packet Tighe leads Australian Open

26-year old Lincoln Tighe holds a one stroke lead at the end of a windswept first day at the Emirates Australian Open at The Australian Golf Club in Sydney.

The Wollongong local used his affinity with the Australian layout to great effect, shooting a five-under 66 to lead Matt Jones by a stroke with Todd Sinnott, Geoff Ogilvy and Chinese Taipei amateur Chun-An Yu toed for third at three-under 68.

Tighe noted he had played a lot of golf in his amateur days at The Australian and feels the course is perfectly suited to his prodigious game, providing more opportunities than most for him to unleash his greatest weapon – the driver.

“It suits me down to the ground. I can carry a lot of the bunkers off the tee so if I’m hitting the driver well, it’s rewarding.” Tighe said.

“My game’s been good for so long and I’m just getting more and more comfortable playing in the bigger tournaments. It feels unreal to be here.”

Jones played a marvellous round, firing five birdies and only one bogey through the most difficult of the afternoon conditions.

Queenslander John Senden brought his impressive form from the last week’s Australian Masters to Sydney and signed for a two-under 69 to outgun playing partners Scott and Nicolas Colsaerts.

Tournament favourites Jordan Spieth and Scott both shot even par 71s. Spieth described his round as ‘boring’ however Scott could hardly describe his as that.

The Queenslander racked up double bogeys on the 7th and 9th holes, the latter salvaged with a chip-in, to finish his front nine at three-over. Up until that point, Scott felt he had been playing solidly and was able to quickly return to that mode, grinding out an impressive three-under par back nine to remain firmly in the mix.

“It’s as blustery as I’ve played in for a while.” Scott said. “I absolutely pride myself on grinding it out and if I don’t, Steve (Williams) makes sure I do!”

At the completion of play, 31 players were at par or better heading into Friday’s second round.