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Anasta injured, Ruffels leading Aust Amateur

BRAITH Anasta was forced out of the Australian Amateur Championships with Ryan Ruffels leading the men's and Eun Jeong Seong the women's.

THE biceps injury that brought an early end to Braith Anasta's NRL career forced him to withdraw from the Australian Amateur golf Championships on Tuesday, as Ryan Ruffels led the men's field and Korea's Eun Jeong Seong the women's.

Anasta only managed to play through nine holes at The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney before reluctantly pulling out in pain.

He was nine-over par after five holes and 12-over by the end - including six bogeys.

The former Wests Tigers star announced his retirement from rugby league in August last year, having been sidelined with a biceps injury.

Anasta is no stranger to a golf course, having previously competed in the NSW PGA and Australia Mid Amateur championships.

He is among a 234-strong men's field contesting the tournament, which is being held across The Lakes and The Australian Golf Club.

Victorian Ryan Ruffels shot a four-under 68 at The Lakes to snare a share of the first round lead with England's Nick Marsh in windy conditions.

"I thought in those conditions anything around par would be pretty good. But I hit a few wedges close early and made a good start which I haven't done the past few weeks, so it's nice," Ruffels said.

Brett Coletta sits a shot further back with fellow Victorian Ben Eccles and Queenslanders Mitchell Smith and Shae Wools-Cobb.

Korea's Eun Jeong Seong heads the 78-strong field in the Women's Australian Amateur Championship, with a two-under 72.

China's Lei Ye sits a shot further back, the duo the only women to shoot below-par first rounds.

Among a group of nine players at even par in a tie for third are Australians Shelly Shin and Becky Kay.

AAP

Photo: Joey Ratcliffe

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