Albatross lifts Watt to Spalding Park lead - PGA of Australia

Albatross lifts Watt to Spalding Park lead

The West Australian swing of the adidas PGA Pro-Am Series continues over the weekend at the Mitchell & Brown Spalding Park Open, where Brady Watt leads after opening with a 6-under 66 that included an albatross on Friday.

Played over three rounds, Watt was out in the early groups and made immediate headway with a birdie at the par-5 first hole and truly came to life with the two at the par-5 ninth.

“Driver, gap wedge from 131, one bounce and rolled in I think, pretty simple,” Watt said describing the albatross.

Asked after his round about the level of excitement from his playing partners, Watt described the atmosphere with a laugh having not seen the ball go in from the fairway.

“Nah, we were talking about the footy, the whole way,” he joked. “It was actually pretty uneventful; we weren’t actually sure if it went in or not because of the shade.”

Watt continued to push on the back nine, where he mixed four birdies, including three straight from the 15th, against one bogey at Spalding Park Golf Club, a course the West Australian is extremely familiar with.

“I’ve been coming here since I was 15, back when Sean McKay was winning. Been here a bunch.”

Watt’s fellow West Aussies, Ryan Peake, Kathryn Norris and Josh Greer share second place, one shot back on 5-under, with four players another shot back, including Daniel Fox who initially was sharing the lead with Watt before a rules clarification post round.

On the fast rolling Spalding Park greens, and in high wins, an ant moved Fox’s ball that he then replaced, rather than playing from where the ball came to rest.

Played concurrently, the PGA Legends Tour at Spalding Park sees Terry Pilkadaris in front on 4-under, with Chris Taylor and Jason Norris in joint second on 3-under, while Murray Lott and Stephen Herbert are tied for fourth at 1-under.

“I’ve played Legends Pro-Am in Mount Gambia the end of last month or start of May. But I haven’t picked up the clubs since, so we just get up and go again. But no, good start,” Pilkadaris, who had his own hole-out moment of excitement, said.

“Birdied 10, 11 and then I holed my wedge for eagle on 13 and then nearly holed another shot on 15. I was 5-under through six. It was a good start. And then the putter went cold.”

That cold putter played its part with three bogeys in five holes on the front nine, Pilkadaris’ back nine, before he finished strongly with birdies at the seventh and ninth for 68.

Now coaching and running golf tours, Pilkadaris echoed the thoughts of both fields on the quality of Spalding Park.

“Best greens we put on anywhere in Australia. Unbelievable. They’re the best,” he said.

“They pretty fast. They’re quick and they’re roll true and they’re perfect.”

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