Papadatos’ round of 1 under 72 consisted of just one birdie and 17 pars but, on a demanding golf course and in breezy conditions, it was enough to improve him four places to a share of 3rd and just one off the pace set by Americans, David Lipsky and Sean Crocker.
The 27 year old NSW golfer has generally struggled with his game since a stunning runner-up finish at the Australian Open behind Mexico’s Abraham Ancer in November.
Papadatos, still without full status on the European Tour, gained a start in this week’s event courtesy of his finish in the European Challenge Tour standings last year and after an opening round of 70 on day one he battled the conditions well to be nicely placed to contend for a fifth professional title over the weekend.
Papadatos has won the New Zealand and the Victorian Opens, the W.A.PGA Championship and an event on the European Challenge Tour in his career to date but despite several near misses he has been unable to secure the full status he needs to play the European Tour in the knowledge of knowing when and if he can play events.
Wade Ormsby is the next best of the Australians, two shots behind Papadatos and in a share of 13th place while European Tour rookie, Jake McLeod, who won the Australasian Tour’s Order of Merit in 2018, just crept into the weekend field on the cut mark.
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