Moran one back in Australian Amateur as hot streak continues

Ronan MacNamara
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Robert Moran (Photo by David Cannon/R&A via Getty Images)

Robert Moran is just one shot off the pace after day one of the Australian Amateur as he continued his sparkling form Down Under with an opening 68.

Moran is in sixth place on four-under, with Australian Master of the Amateurs winner John Gough part of a five-way tie for the lead on five-under after a round of 67.

The Castle golfer finished superbly with four successive birdies to close out the Master of Amateurs and he put on another stirring finish in at St Michael’s Golf Club with four birdies in his last six holes to soar into contention.

The 23-year-old was level-par after twelve holes after a birdie on 4 and a dropped shot on 5 but birdies on 13, 15, 16 and 17 turned an average day into a very good one.

This event is being played across St Michael’s and New South Wales Golf Club, with four of the leading five players opening their rounds on the former and just six of the top-21 playing in New South Wales Golf Club which suggests a tougher test to come for Moran in round two.

Royal Melbourne’s Connor McDade opened his campaign on the harder of the two courses but a closing eagle on the NSW course catapulted him into a share of the lead.

Gough, whose father hails from Co. Meath, carded two eagles on the par-5 13th and a hole-out on the par-4 16th to grab a share of the lead.

World Number One disability golfer Kipp Popert is six adrift on one-over-par.

Moran, who is part of the 19-man provisional Walker Cup squad for Great Britain and Ireland, is the leading Irishman by a distance with Portmarnock’s Sean Flanagan and Co. Louth’s Evan Farrell the next best on six-over after rounds of 78.

Fellow Baltry man Eugene Smith is three shots further back on nine-over while Waterville’s Greg O’Mahony props up the field on seventeen-over-par.

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