Wood leads thanks to ‘bonus’ birdie at Rockhampton Pro-Am - PGA of Australia

Wood leads thanks to ‘bonus’ birdie at Rockhampton Pro-Am

A mindset of playing “aggressively smart” and a birdie from the fringe on his final hole has earned Queenslander Chris Wood a one-shot lead after day one of the Ian Weigh Toyota Rockhampton Pro-Am.

With $60,000 in prize money on offer a Tour-quality field took to the Rockhampton Golf Club layout on Wednesday, Wood edging one clear with a brilliant round of 7-under 65.

Victorian Kyle Michel (66) is Wood’s closest challenger, the pair both taking full advantage of ideal scoring conditions in the morning wave to set the early tone.

Wood began with a birdie on his opening hole – the par-4 10th – only to give it straight back with bogey at the tough par-3 11th.

It would be his only step backward all day, making five birdies in the space of seven holes around the turn before moving to the top of the leaderboard with a final birdie at the par-3 ninth.

“The birdie on nine was a bit of a bonus,” Wood conceded.

“I holed a putt from about 17 feet just off the right-hand side of the green there, putting up the hill.

“The goal was honestly just to two-putt and get out of there, but to see that drop was quite nice.”

A regular at Rockhampton, the 2020 Victorian PGA champion said he has adopted a different strategy to avoid making some of the same mistakes of the past.

“I’ll just go out there with the same mindset of playing aggressively smart,” he added.

“I’ve kept driver in the bag a little bit this week on a few holes just from previous history.

“I always find I hit it in the same trouble spots as previous years so just trying to eliminate some of the mistakes.

“I know there’s plenty of birdies out there, so just to try and stay patient and add them up at the end.”

There is just two shots separating the top 10 on the leaderboard after Round 1 with Matt Millar, Brett Rankin and James Marchesani among the eight players in a tie for third at 5-under par.

Round 2 begins at 6:50am Thursday morning.

Round 1 scores

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