Appleby, Hend set the pace

Home

Stuart Appleby and Scott Hend both carded six-under-par 66s to claim a share of the lead after day one of the Australian Open.

Stuart Appleby and Scott Hend both carded six-under-par 66s to claim a share of the lead after day one of the Australian Open.

Queenslander Hend exploited ideal morning conditions while Appleby overcame stronger afternoon winds at the New South Wales Golf Club.

Indeed Appleby, who has slumped to No.150 in the world rankings, should have claimed the outright lead but three-putted for a bogey on the 18th.

Fellow Australians James Nitties and Peter Wilson lie one shot further back with 67s, however the man to watch on day two could be Adelaide-born Adam Scott after he birdied four of his last six holes to score a 68.

Speaking after the opening round, 2001 champion Appleby admitted that despite poor results in 2009, he is happy with the way he is playing at the moment.

“I started a lot of rounds of golf really excited about what was going on and finished the day just going, ‘What happened?’,” he said. “All year I wasn’t able to get that final bit of confidence.

“I like the way I’m playing, I like the way I’m putting and I haven’t had enough of that this year.”

Hend, who has spent time in the United States, Europe and Asia, was thankful for his early tee time which enabled him to exploit the near-perfect conditions.

“It’s just great to get out there when there’s hardly any wind at all and you can just play your shots,” Hend said.

Stephen Allan and American David Oh also enjoyed fine first rounds and lie in joint fifth after shooting four-under-par 68s.

America’s John Daly carded six bogeys and an eagle on his way to a 72, while Geoff Ogilvy and former two-time winner Aaron Baddeley fired 73s.

Latest