Strange masters sand scrapes to lead at Port Hedland - PGA of Australia

Strange masters sand scrapes to lead at Port Hedland

Spalding Park Open winner Scott Strange has handled the vagaries of sand scrapes best to establish a three-stroke lead at the $30,000 Roy Hill Golf Classic Pro-Am at Port Hedland Golf Club.

Humid, overcast and calm conditions welcomed the Professionals for the first round on Saturday but it was the adjustment to Port Hedland’s sand greens that proved to be the greatest challenge.

Expertise on the scraper and speed control were key to finding the bottom of the cup and no one did it better than Strange in his round of seven-under 65.

Starting his round on the ninth hole, Strange started with two pars before reeling off three birdies in a row from the par-5 11th.

A bogey on 15 was followed up with a bounce-back birdie at 16 and when he picked up another stroke at 18 the two-time European Tour winner had completed the back nine in 32.

A wire-to-wire winner at Spalding Park, Strange bogeyed the first but again bounced back beautifully, this time with birdie on two followed by an eagle at the long par-5 third.

One more birdie on five and three closing pars gives Strange a three-shot buffer from Braden Becker ahead of Sunday’s final round.

Becker, the current WA Order of Merit leader, started his tournament on the fourth hole.

He began with seven straight pars before rattling off five birdies in his next eight holes to reach five-under. A late bogey saw Becker sign for a four-under 68 and within striking distance of Strange heading into Sunday’s final round.

West Australian Rick Kulacz is a further shot back after a solid three-under 69 followed by Brendan Chant and Max McCardle at two-under.

The second and final round begins at 8.30am AWST Sunday morning.

Click here for Round 1 scores

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