LUKE Murray leads the Ballarat and District Golf Association 54-hole Open Tournament after making the most of home course knowledge in the opening round yesterday.
Ballarat Golf Club’s Murray shot 71 to be two strokes clear.
Travis Tatt, of Buninyong, and Midlands’ Luke Murnane are equal second.
Murnane made the most of improved afternoon conditions to finish near the top of the scoreboard although the majority of better performers teed off in the morning.
BDGA secretary David Wallis believes the tournament will see Murray and Tatt go head-to-head for the title.
Wallis expects defending titleholder Craig Boucher will perform well at Creswick today, but is a long way off the pace after shooting a 79.
“I think Craig (Boucher) will go pretty well around there (Creswick), but I still think Luke Murray is the one to go,” he said.
Wallis said Boucher would have to pull out a good score in the second round to get into contention.
“I believe conditions are going to be pretty good, with possible early showers, clearing in the afternoon. The course is in good shape,” Wallis said.
Promisng youngster Kelly Lyle finished in the top four at 74.
In the women’s competition, Jill Morrison and multiple title winner Helen Pascoe share the lead on 81.
They have an eight-shot break over the rest of the field.
Wallis said Pascoe would be difficult to beat after such a strong start.
The second round is at Forest Resort at Creswick, with round three at Midlands tomorrow.
ROUND 1 – MEN
71 Luke Murray (Ballarat)
73 Luke Murname (Midlands)
73 Travis Tatt (Buninyong)
74 Kelly Lyle (Ballarat)
74 Tim Steele (Mt Xavier)
75 Heath Maloney (Ballarat)
81 Jill Morrison (Midlands)
81 Helen Pascoe (Buninyong)
89 Helen Haintz (Buninyong)
95 Anne Glenwright (Midlands)
103 Kay Johnston (Buninyong)
103 Adiana Cunnington (Buninyong)
113 Lois Kennedy (Midlands)