Lombard leads Australian PGA Championship

From europeantour.com

15_EUR_AUS_RD1_WEBFormer Amateur Championship runner-up Zander Lombard dominated the opening day of the Australian PGA Championship to establish a two shot lead over England’s Mark Foster.

Lombard, beaten by Scotland’s Bradley Neil in last year’s amateur showpiece at Royal Portrush, carded five unanswered birdies in his round of 67.

With the wind up on Queensland’s Gold Coast, only six players finished under par at RACV Royal Pines Resort.

The 40 year old Foster lost his European Tour card for the first time since 2002 last season, but made a promising start to his 401st event with seven birdies and four bogeys.

South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli held the clubhouse lead for much of the day after grinding out a two under par 70 in the morning session, and he was joined on that mark by Australia’s Ashley Hall.

Another of the home contingent, Todd Sinnott, had raced to six under through 12 holes, but found water at the 13th and that led to the first of three double bogeys over the closing stretch as he finished alongside compatriot Adam Stephens on one under par.

Two more former amateur stars – England’s Tom Lewis and Ireland’s Paul Dunne – went round in level par rounds of 72.

Dunne and Lewis both shot to fame when they led The Open Championship as amateurs and the former – playing his first full season on The European Tour – enjoyed a real mixed bag on the opening day.

The 23 year old also started on the back nine, and suffered an early blow with a double bogey at the 11th.

Four birdies approaching the turn were then followed by two bogeys on the way in as Dunne put himself inside the top ten with a level par score.

Lewis had fired an opening 65 to lead the 2011 Open Championship at St George’s, and won on only his third start as a professional in Portugal, but was outside the top 110 on last season’s Race to Dubai and is looking to regain full playing rights.

America’s Brandt Snedeker, the highest ranked player in the field, missed a two footer for par at the tenth – his opening hole – and eventually finished with a 12 over par 84.

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