A leg injury that almost forced his withdrawal from the tournament proved to be no impediment to Brisbane’s Gavin Fairfax as he edged one stroke clear after the opening round of the Lunar Mining Emerald Pro-Am at Emerald Golf Club on Saturday.
The third event in the Onsite Rental Group Mining Towns Series attracted a field bursting with accomplished PGA Tour of Australasia regulars but it was Fairfax who produced a gem of a round on day one to take the lead into Sunday’s final round.
An Adidas Pro-Am Series winner at Redland Bay in April, Fairfax was third at the Moranbah Pro-Am a week ago but a troublesome leg injury gave the 32-year-old cause to consider not teeing it up at all on the eve of the tournament.
Thankfully for Fairfax, a round of 6-under 64 consisting of seven birdies and a lone bogey meant that he could nurse his injured leg all the way to the 18th hole.
“I just tried to take it easy out there today,” Fairfax explained.
“Thankfully I hit the ball straight so I didn’t have to walk as far which was good.
“The greens are very similar to what I play on back home in Brisbane so I felt comfortable around the greens today.”
An eagle at the 538-metre par-5 13th hole was the highlight of Aaron Wilkin’s opening round of 5-under 67 to sit in outright second position with current Onsite Rental Group Mining Towns Series leader Tim Hart a further shot back on 4-under 66 to be solo third with a day to play.
Glencore Oaky Creek Coal Pro-Am winner James Grierson is in position for a second straight win after a round of 3-under 67 to be part of a four-way tie for fourth alongside Lucas Higgins, Peter Martin and Nathan Barbieri.
Round 2 commences at 7am on Sunday morning with Fairfax to tee off at 12.15pm from the first tee.