Talisker Masters. Nick Cullen Leads.

Left hander Nick Cullen lead the Talisker Masters after round one at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club, in Melbourne, Australia.

Cullen leads over Scott and Kieffer

Nick Cullen / Getty

Nick had a first round -6 under par 65 to lead the Talisker Masters at Royal Melbourne by two shots. His round included an Eagle two at the short par four, the 11th. He also racked up two bogies, on eight and eighteen.

Adam Scott is tied in second place at -4 under par for the day, he is sharing that score with today’s surprise package, German Maximillian Kieffer.

Adam admitted he had not had much practice since his win at The PGA last week;

“I have not done much practice since last week so I felt I would try and sneak a few balls in before lunch and a 67 round here is a good score. It was a bit of a slow finish but it is a good way to open up. I felt like I left a couple out there but my game was in pretty good shape other than that and four rounds like that might go a long way this week.”

Max, on his first visit to Australia said he was very happy;

“I love it, it is great. I think it is testing every part of your game. The greens are in great condition today if you think about how much rain there was. My expectations were very low because it is 10 hours’ time difference. It is quite a lot and obviously the preparation was not how it should be but I think it is a good learning experience.”

All of Golf welcomed Jarrod Lyle’s return to inside the ropes, and his appearance bought a tear to the eye of many. Jarrod himself was fighting off tears as he struck his first golf ball in competition in over 20 months. He was accompanied on his round by his wife  Briony and daughter Lusi. He finished the day with a +1 over par 72 first round, a very respectable effort in the circumstances.

Incidentally Taliskers is one of my favorite drops of Scotch.

Emirates Australian Open, Marcus Fraser Leads with a Hole in One

Marcus Fraser

Marcus Fraser / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Aussie Marcus Fraser leads the Emirates Australian Open at the conclusion of the second round at The Lakes golf course in Sydney, with another -3 under par, 69 round, and a tournament total of -6 under par. Marcus, who played in the mornings calm conditions has a one shot advantage over John Senden and Brendan Jones. Marcus aced the par 3 fifteenth hole to cap off a remarkable seven weeks playing golf in seven different countries. Next week he will travel to Malaysia to see if he can win the Asian Tour money title. Marcus spoke of his ace, and his grueling schedule;

” To have one go in like that, it turned the round and the tournament around from where I was. I’ve been playing so much I feel like I’m going with the flow a little bit, playing week-in, week-out you’re going through the same routine every day and it feels like another golf tournament. At the same time it is the Aussie Open. Definitely it’s the pick of the bunch of the eight weeks for me.”

Take a look at the late season schedule of Marcus, starting  September in Malaysia, then China WGC-HSBC Champions, the Barclays Singapore Open, the UBS Hong Kong Open, the European Tour’s DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, then a failed attempt to secure a 2013 PGA Tour card in California last week, and back to Malaysia next week.

John Senden played in the windy afternoon conditions and could only manage a +1 over par round, falling back to -5 under par for the tournament and tied in second place with Brendan Jones, who carded a -1 under par second round, for his -5 under par total.

On his own in fourth place is another Aussie, Nick Cullen, he had a second round of  -2 under par and a total of -4 under for the tournament.

World number four, Justin Rose started well, with four birdies on the front nine to move into the lead at -7 under par, but unusually fell behind with four bogeys in six holes in the windy afternoon conditions, leaving him with a +1 over par 73, tied in fifth position at -3 under par. Adam Scott managed a -1 under par second round and is five shots off the pace.

Story of the day was made by 63 year-old Tom Watson, who fired in a second round -4 under par 68, to make the cut by one shot after his terrible start to the tournament sinking to a first round total of 78. Tom expressed his desire to succeed;

” I hate missing cuts, I really do, that means you’ve failed.”

Tom”s playing partner, Greg Chalmers also just made the cut by one shot, and was not happy with his performance in the easier morning conditions;

” Three par fives on the back nine and I bogeyed two of them. That’s not going to work if you want to have a good score out here. I guess I’m going to get to play on the weekend so I get to go out and shoot a low score, but certainly I’m probably going to start a long way back.”

It certainly looks like the winner of this tournament will be the player who can master the windier afternoon conditions for the next two days.