AMATEUR Nathan Holman has shot his way into contention at Creswick for what would be an unexpected title on the Australasian PGA Tour.
Holman yesterday had an opening round of six-under 66 to lead the $130,000 Turner Plumbing Victorian PGA Championship.
The Woodlands 21-year-old has a two-shot buffer over Leigh McKechnie from New South Wales.
Past Victorian PGA Championship titleholder Andre Stolz is one of six players three back after rounds of 69.
Like Holman, Stolz took advantage of cooler conditions with an early morning start and is joined by New Zealander Pieter Zwart, Steven Jones, Josh Younger, Brendan Smith and Kris Mueck on three-under.
Just 28 of the 131 players to complete the round had sub-par rounds. The tournament was not originally on Holman’s schedule.
He had planned to play in the Australian Amateur Men’s Championship, which also began in Melbourne yesterday, but missed the entry deadline by a day.
He dismissed the oversight and forced change of plan.
“I’m happy to be here.
“This is what I want to be doing in the future,” said Holman, who is a member of the Victorian Institute of Sport and national amateur squad.
No matter how the next three rounds pan out, Holman has no plans to turn professional in the short-term future.
He said he had a full amateur program set out for the year and intended to see it through.
“There’s no rush.”
Holman said his plan was to turn professional at the end of the year.
Holman had a roller coaster ride yesterday – shooting two eagles, six birdies, a double bogey and two bogeys.
He looked like tearing the course apart at six-under after 12 holes.
However, having not played beyond the 11th in practice, he did it tougher in the run home with one birdie and one bogey, so was happy to keep it together.
Holman’s best finish so far in a professional event is 16th in last year’s West Australian Open.
He has also contested the Australian Masters, Australian Open and New Zealand Open.
Ballarat touring professional Peter Nolan bounced back from three bogeys on the opening three holes to finish one-over.
Ballarat amateurs Craig Boucher and Travis Tatt struggled, with 81 and 77 respectively.
-6 Nathan Holman (Vic)
-4 Leigh McKechnie (NSW)
-3 Andre Stolz (NSW)
-3 Pieter Zwart (NZ)
-3 Steven Jones (Vic)
-3 Josh Younger (Vic)
-3 Kris Mueck (Vic)
-2 Brendan Smith (NSW)
-2 Ashley Hall (Vic)
-2 Aaron Townsend (NSW)
-2 Paul Sheehan (NSW)
-2 Scott Laycock (Vic)
-2 Benjamin Bloomfield (Qld)
-2 Michael Foster (WA)
-2 Michael Wright (Qld)
FRIDAY'S ROUND 2 DRAW
7am: Wayne Perske, Max McCardle, Pieter Zwart
7.10: Ian Esson, Matt Stone, Paul Spargo
7.20: Brett Rankin, Rohan Blizard, Leigh Deagan
7.30: Troy Cox, Tom Bond, Grant Scott
7.40: Jin Jeong, Andrew Kelly, Thomas Petersson
7.50: Grant Thomas, Anthony Summers, Timothy Wood
8.00: Brent McCullough, Rance De Grussa, Daniel McGraw
8.10: LEE Jun, David Klein, Andrew Cartledge
8.20: Christopher Thorn, Dylan Higgins, Alex Hawley
8.30: Peter Poposki, Matthew Buff, Tarquin MacManus
8.40: Joshua Lancaster, Paul Buchanan, Justin Roach
11.40: Euan Walters, Marcus Cain, Rika Batibasaga
11.50: Ryan Lynch, Edward Stedman, Ryan Haywood
Noon: David Bransdon, Kurt Carlson, Ryan Fox
12.10pm: Leighton Lyle, Matthew Griffin, Terry Pilkadaris
12.20: Andre Stolz, Peter O'Malley, Paul Sheehan
12.30: Michael Long, Scott Laycock, Paul Gow
12.40: Matt Giles, Leigh McKechnie, Glenn Joyner
12.50: Troy Ropiha, Neil Sarkies, Peter Welden
1.00: Chris Gaunt, Christopher Campbell, Mitchell A Brown
1.10: Tim Frazer, Alex Benjamin, Nathan Uebergang
1.20: Travis Tatt (am), Michael Foster, Brock Gillard
7am: Jordan Sherratt, David McKendrick, Peter Spearman-Burn
7.10: Ben Roberts, Andrew Tampion, Sven Puymbroeck
7.20: Terry Price, John Wade, Mitch Davis
7.30: Michael Wright, Bradley Hughes, Steven Jeffress
7.40: Steven Jones, Peter Wilson, Gareth Paddison
7.50: Anthony Brown, Jason Norris, Matthew Millar
8.00: Josh Younger, Craig Hasthorpe, Daniel Fox
8.10: Michael Choi, Kristopher Mueck, Brendan Smith
8.20: Luke Hickman, Kevin Conlong, Toby Wilcox
8.30: Benjamin Patten, Matthew Criss, Nick Gillespie
8.40: Todd Nicholson, Kevin Quigley, Raffael Toperoso
11.40: Peter Nolan, Matthew Ballard, David McKenzie
11.50: Josh Geary Paul Hayden, Daniel Nisbet
Noon: Michael Curtain, Bradley Lamb, Ashley Hall
12.10pm: Brad Shilton, Jason Scrivener, Craig Boucher (am)
12.20: Andrew Tschudin, Stephen Dartnall, Aaron Townsend
12.30: Lindsay Wilson, Michael Faraone, Nathan Holman (am)
12.40: Brody Ninyette, Clint Rice, Andrew Martin
12.50: Brendan Chant, Hamish Robertson, Kalem Richardson
1.00: Lincoln Tighe, Sean Roach, Benjamin Bloomfield
1.10: Christopher Hynes, Mitchell Brown, Daniel Valente
1.20: Clinton Lourens, Kota Kagasaki, Matt Dowling