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Hillier and Windred start well at European Amateur

The Australian Golf Club's Blake Windred shares the lead (Photo: Henry Peters)
Australasians share the lead after day one of the European Amateur Championship at the Diamond Country Club near Vienna in Austria, New Zealand’s Daniel Hillier and NSW’s Blake Windred ahead by one after their opening rounds of 66.

Two weeks ago Hillier played the US Open Championship at Pebble Beach after qualifying via Sectional Qualifying in England. 

Although he missed the cut in that event, the two time New Zealand Amateur Champion acquitted himself well and back against this field he is a strong chance to be a major contender this week.

Windred is a player good enough to have finished 12th at the European Tour’s Vic Open earlier this year and 3rd at last year’s NSW Open and is currently the world’s 14th ranked male amateur. He also led this event last year through 36 holes before finishing 7th.

Hillier is ranked 20th in the world after a series of good performances in amateur events including his 3rd place finish at last year’s Eisenhower Trophy.

Perth’s Josh Greer and Adelaide’s Jack Thompson opened with rounds of 69 while NSW’s Nathan Barbieri recorded a round of 70.

Takumi Kanaya, the reigning Asia-Pacific Amateur Champion and the highest ranked player in the field, returned an under-par score despite making two double-bogeys on the front-nine. The Japanese player recovered well, making eight birdies to finish with a 71 (-1), leaving him in a tie for 43rd place.

Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia are former winners of the European Amateur title.

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