McLeod earned the right to play the European Tour courtesy of winning the Australasian Tour’s Order of Merit in 2018, a season which saw him win the NSW Open and perhaps even more impressively finish 3rd at the Australian Open.
McLeod’s round was slow to begin an outward nine of even par 35 hardly suggested what lay ahead. He would, however, reel off five consecutive birdies from the 10th and, at the end of the opening day, he finds himself trailing only the leader Thomas Pieters.
The effort was made even more impressive given it is McLeod’s first start since the Australian PGA Championship, also a European Tour event, nearly two months ago but he was not a cardholder at that stage. In a six-way tie for second place, he has made the near perfect start to his European Tour career.
Three starts ago Pieters was part of Belgium’s World Cup winning team at the Metropolitan Golf Club in Melbourne and in his opening two events of the year he has played solidly. His bogey-free round of 63 has him two clear of the field.
Of the other Australians in the field, recently turned professional, Min Woo Lee, recorded a round of 69 to be tied for 46th, Scott Hend is 65th, Sam Brazel 82nd and Wade Ormsby 108th.
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