Defending champion Tim Hart’s par-4 hole-in-one was only enough to earn a share of top spot after day one of the Traralgon Latrobe City WIN Network Pro-Am Classic at Traralgon Golf Club.
There were sightings of all of golf’s birdlife on Thursday with a flock of birdies, a collection of eagles and even a rare albatross with Hart making an ace at the 303-metre par-4 12th.
It was the highlight in a superb round of eight-under 64 that was matched by Millar, who eagled the par-5 16th and six birdies in his bogey-free round of 64.
They are one stroke clear of Ben Paine (65) and Simon Hawkes (65) with a further shot back to Marcus Fraser (66), Andrew Kelly (66) and Bradley Kivimets (66).
With just a week before the resumption of the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia, the two days at Traralgon on the Gippsland swing has proven a popular stop ahead of TPS Victoria at Rosebud Country Club.
A prolific pro-am winner renowned for his aggressive style of play, Hart said the unlikely ace – his first on a par 4 – could not have come at a better time.
“I actually got off to a bit of a bad start,” Hart lamented.
“I bogeyed my first par 5 and then didn’t have anything going for a few holes.
“The 12th is a reachable par 4 if you’re a bit brave so I thought why not give it a go and hit driver.
“You can’t see the green or anything but I hit a good shot. I walked up to the green and saw there was no golf ball anywhere. I checked over the back of the green and it wasn’t there either.
“I thought it might have clipped one of the trees and come up short and then I walked past the hole and sure enough it was in the hole.
“Managed to make a one there which was really nice and kick-started the day. I made a few birdies after that and kept it going.
“I’ve always played well here and that’s why I keep coming back.”
Another noted pro-am plunderer, Millar finished second behind Hart on the Order of Merit last season and is currently third as Hart looks to go back-to-back.
Like Hart, he is a former champion at Traralgon having won in 2019 and tapped into that sense of comfort to earn a share of the lead.
“For me, looking down a parkland country golf course and of course, when they’re in this condition – like most of the regional Victorian courses are – visually it sets it up for you,” said Millar.
“It’s always good when you feel comfortable when you look at holes.
“I love coming to Traralgon. I had that win and been close on a couple of other occasions so certainly love coming here.”
The second round of the Traralgon Latrobe City WIN Network Pro-Am Classic tees of at 7.30am on Friday morning with the lead groups to start from the first tee from 1pm.
Click here for Round 1 scores.
Click here for Round 2 draw.