Brad Kennedy has stormed clear in round one of the Coca-Cola Queensland PGA Championship as wild weather disrupted play at Toowoomba.
Rain delayed play for more than two hours as a heavy deluge lashed City Golf Club just as the afternoon field took to the tees.
With the greens sodden, the players were pulled from the course at around 12:30pm and returned at 2:45pm.
Kennedy, who shot 9-under, got to the clubhouse moments before the weather took a turn.
Play suspended at the #QLDPGA as the heavens open!— PGA of Australia (@PGAofAustralia) February 13, 2020
Could be a lengthy delay with the heavy rainfall lashing City Golf Club in Toowoomba.
Live scores ?? https://t.co/usFfht4qR5 pic.twitter.com/otu5qCS8a4
The veteran fired a bogey-free 61 – an equal course record – which included three birdies to close his round.
“I hit off the tenth (hole) and had an ideal start with a two-putt birdie. I drove it really well today, which is the key around Toowoomba City Golf Club. You’ve got to hit the fairways, which gives you a lot of opportunity to hit the greens,” Kennedy said.
“I managed to hole a couple of nice putts. I made a massive 50-foot putt for birdie on the third hole after being in a tricky position in a bunker.
“It just continued some momentum I had from the back nine and finished with three birdies. It’s nice to finish that way when you are gaining momentum.”
With up to 45 players still to complete round 1, round 2 tee times have been pushed back approximately 45 minutes. to cater the increased tee traffic.
Three-time European Tour winner Marcus Fraser and 2017 ISPS HANDA Vic Open champion Dimi Papadatos (both 5-under) are tied for second, while six players, including Warwick PGA Professional Samuel Eaves, are deadlocked at 4-under.
Kennedy was pleased to reverse his fortunes following a disappointing showing at last week’s Vic Open.
“Last week was a bit of a disappointment mentally. I learnt a lot after missing the cut. It has sharpened me up for this week,” he said.
“I have been doing this now for 25 years and you just know what it takes and last week I couldn’t get myself in the mindset. Now I’m making sure I’m doing all the right things to ensure I’m getting myself right.”
Fraser, who last week tied for third at the 13th Beach event, continues to be consistent and is in the mix at the end of round 1 play.
“It was pretty good out there today. I drove really well and had plenty of chances. The greens were a little bit bumpy because of the rain,” Fraser said.
“I’ve been pretty tired the last couple of days. It was a long week last week and throw in a Pro-Am on Monday, I’m just trying to charge the batteries up.
“When you’re playing well you just want to keep going. It was nice to get back out there in tournament conditions. I felt really comfortable last week, so it’s good to get going again today.”
The winner of the 2020 QLD PGA Championship will receive the bulk of the $150,000 prize course, as well as Official World Golf Ranking Points and full exemption onto the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia for the 2021 season, including a place in the Australian PGA Championship field.
The final two rounds of the tournament will be broadcast on FOX SPORTS and Kayo. Visit pga.org.au for broadcast times.