Five birdies in his final six holes has earned Sam Brazel a share of the lead following the opening round of the Emerald Pro-Am at Emerald Golf Club.
Brazel and Queenslander Shae Wools-Cobb have a one-shot advantage heading into the final round after the pair posted rounds of six-under 64.
On a day of good scoring where almost half the field went under-par at an improving Emerald Golf Club layout, Brazel and Wools-Cobb finished one clear of Nicholas Russell (65) with Tim Hart, Anthony Choat and Andew Campbell sharing fourth at four-under.
An adidas PGA Pro-Am Series champion at Emerald 20 years ago, Brazel took time to warm into his round upon his return.
Birdies at six and seven were book-ended by bogeys at five and eight as he made the turn in even par.
A birdie at 10 was a step in the right direction and then he gathered momentum as his round neared its completion, picking up another shot at the par-5 13th and then making birdie at each of his final four holes.
“It’s been such a pleasure to be back here,” said Brazel.
“I started off really slow but found my groove and got hot at the end.
“Twenty years ago I won a Pro-Am here and I’m so proud to be back.”
While Brazel made his move late in the round, much of Wools-Cobb’s forward progress came during the front nine.
Third in this event 12 months ago, Wools-Cobb birdied four and then three on the trot from the par-5 sixth to make the turn in four-under.
There was a bogey at 10 but four further birdies and a final dropped shot at 18 saw the Sunshine Coast product end the day level with Brazel at six-under.
“It’s going to be an interesting day fighting it out with ‘Harry’ (Brazel),” Wools-Cobb said.
“It was nice to get a hot start to the Pro-Am.”
Sunday’s final round at Emerald will also serve as the final round of the 2022 Onsite Rental Group Mining Towns Series.
Hart’s four-under 66 has taken him to 45-under and past Tom Power Horan by a single stroke with Wools-Cobb and Harrison Wills tied together at 25-under par.
Two current members of the PGA Membership Pathway Program have been part of the Mining Towns Series with Zoe Maxwell and Tara Jenkins making the trip to help support the communities where tournaments have been held.
Matt Victorsen also organised an afternoon ‘Flop Shot Challenge’ at Emerald on Saturday to raise money for the junior program with Professionals and amateurs all getting involved.
The final round of the Emerald Pro-Am starts from 7am on Sunday with Brazel to start his round at 12.15pm followed by Wools-Cobb at 12.22pm.
Click here for Round 1 scores