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.

Australia Amateur Championships,Womens Final will be Lee versus Lee


Australian Amateur

Mens Final will be contested between Geoff Drakeford and Cameron Smith, this is the first time either player has reached the finals.


Geoff Drakeford, Jenny Lee, Cameron Smith and Minjee Lee

The Womens final is between Jenny Lee and Minjee Lee on Sunday at Commonwealth Golf Club, Melbourne.

Minjee, making her second appearance in the final, and is looking to go one better after her narrow loss in 2011. The 36 hole final will  begin at 8.30am with the second 18 commencing at 1.00pm. The Australian Women’s Amateur champion earns an exemption into the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open at Royal Canberra in February.


Australian Womens Amateur Championships, Ladies 2nd Round of Qualifying

Lydia Ko

Lydia Ko / Golf Australia

Lydia Ko the ladies World Amateur Number 1, and defending Champion here at the Audi sponsored Australian Amateur Championships,  shared Medalist honors with Aussie Grace Lennon. Both ladies tied on a score of -6 under par, with Aussie Minjee Lee and two Japanese players, Asuka Kashiwabara and Kotone Hori tied for third place at -4 under par.

Tatiana Wijaya finished at 3-under par to progress to the first round of knock out Match Play which will take place on Thursday at the Commonwealth Golf Club in Melbourne.

Australian Amateur

Australian Amateur Championships,

The 2013 Australian Amateur Championships,  presented by Audi are underway in fine and sunny conditions in Melbourne at the Commonwealth and Woodlands Golf Clubs. All players will play 36 holes Stroke Play qualifying across both courses on Tuesday and Wednesday before moving to Commonwealth for knock out Match Play from Thursday to Sunday.

On the Womens side, Australian  Minjee Lee leads after an opening round -5 under par 68  at the Woodlands Golf Club. Minjee is  a former runner-up at the Championships, and she leads qualifying by one stroke from New Zealander and World Number 1 amateur Lydia Ko and another Aussie,  Tatiana Wijaya who both shot -4 under par rounds of 69.

Victorian Grace Lennon and Kiwi Munchin Keh are tied fourth at 3-under par, with Western Australia’s Hannah Green, China’s Jing Yan and Japan’s Asuka Kashiwabara tied in sixth place after -2 under rounds of par 71.

The second round of qualifying is be contested on Wednesday.

Luke Donald down under in Melbourne

Fresh from his record breaking season on both European and U.S tours Luke Donald is heading to Australia to play in Melbourne. His plan is to study the sandbelt courses especially the Alister McKenzie designed Royal Melbourne, and close by Victoria.

McKenzie designed Augusta National golf course, and Luke who is keen to learn all he can in golf course design wants to check the layout first hand. Earlier this year Luke started a golf project in Vietnam, and he is full of praise for McKenzie.

“I’m a big MacKenzie fan. I’d love to get further into golf architecture and I think this is a great place to start looking at some of the best courses in the world and I’m excited to be here,” he added. “(Victoria) looks amazing. It’s one of the reasons I wanted to come to Australia. I’ve heard so many good stories about the sandbelt and their famous courses.”

“I just started my first project in Vietnam this year and it’s something I’d like to get into further. Having a bit of an art background I’d love to do that.”

Donald has received some criticism in certain quaters  for his  hectic golf schedule, but has stated that he does not intend to slow down next season, despite admitting feeling some burnout around the U.S. this year.

“Certainly there have been times this year where I have played a lot and I had to really dig deep for a little bit of extra energy to find enough to compete well but I certainly feel like I’m not dragging too much right now,” said Donald, whose Australian Masters appearance will be his last tournament for the year.

“In 2012, my schedule will be very similar, I’ll concentrate on both tours. Obviously, being a Ryder Cup year, I’m excited to try to earn enough world ranking points to get into that. “The only time I felt a little bit over-golfed was around the U.S. Open this year. It was a mixture of maybe playing one event too many around that time and a mixture of going through a little bit of an illness … But otherwise I think I managed my schedule pretty well.”