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Little Known Alex Edge Storms Home Late At The Australian

(Photo: Golf Australia)
Jordan Spieth was the centre of attention but it was little known Sydneysider Alex Edge who stole the show late on day one of the 102nd Australian Open in Sydney.

One of the last players to tee off Thursday, Edge finds himself on the same score as former World Number One Jason Day sharing third spot only three shots behind outright leader Cameron Davis.

The former standout amateur is two clear of Queensland’s Taylor MacDonald with Nick Cullen joining Edge and Day at 5-under.

Edge’s 66 was the best of the afternoon scores by three shots, the 28-year-old surprised to hear his score was the best of the afternoon wave.

“Surprised to be the best by three,” he said. “When I woke up this morning I saw Cam was at 6-under through whatever and I thought the scoring would be low.

“But I just went out and tried to play my game and concentrate on my routine like my coach has been drumming into me.

“I just kept it in play really and when I did get in a bit of strife I made some good saves for pars.”

Edge’s late finish overshadowed Cameron Smith’s impressive 2-under effort which had previously looked the best of the afternoon players.

Paired with the defending champion alongside 2015 winner Matt Jones in the 12.10pm time slot, Smith outplayed both – and most of the afternoon field - on a breezy afternoon at The Australian Golf Club.

In the afternoon it was the Spieth group under the spotlight.

And while the defending champion settled for a one under 70, a bizarre double bogey at the par-three 11th threatened to derail Smith's round.

Even par through the first 10 holes, Smith turned his tee shot well left and watched helpless as it hit the cart path and catapulted up a hill and into dense bushes.

“It just went up in the shrubs there and I couldn’t find it,” he said. “But I got my other one up and down and ended up being a good double bogey.”

Smith said despite dropping two shots on the hole he took a lot from making an unlikely, long range putt for five.

“That was a pretty big one,” he said. “I would have been pretty disappointed if that one didn’t drop.

“I hit a lot of good putts today and that was really the first one that went in and from there on in it was actually pretty good.”

Covering the remaining holes in 4-under, Smith said he was proud of his performance in tough conditions.

“Silly as it sounds I could have probably had a couple less in those last seven holes,” he said.

“That’s just how it is. It’s so tough to putt in the windy conditions.

“It was definitely harder out there this afternoon. I was actually out here this morning doing some prep and it didn’t seem that windy.

“I thought we were in for a good afternoon but as always down here it blows in the afternoon so it was a good turnaround.

“Pretty proud of the way I came back and hung in there.”

SHORT GAME WIZARD BRETT RUMFORD'S CHIPPING ADVICE:

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o   5% discount on Economy/Business Saver fares*

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Bookings can be made by entering offer code 'AUGOLF1' into the advanced search engine

These discounts apply from Australia across the Emirates network. The discount will also be applied on top of sale fares.

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