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Presnell delighted with Open debut

(Photo: Richard Fellner)
Australian golfer Alistair Presnell has every reason to be delighted with his opening round at a US Open, his even par 70 at the Olympic Club in San Francisco even more than he could have hoped for.

Of those golfers who played in the morning field only leader, Michael Thomson, Tiger Woods and David Toms were ahead of him in terms of finished rounds and afterwards he expressed his satisfaction.

"I'm absolutely thrilled with that," he said. "Even if you had offered me a few more I probably would of taken it. To do that on day one in my first Major, my first Open was terrific."

Presnell recovered from a nervous early bogey and was not afraid to admit to nerves on the first tee today. He would not be human if he was not nervous given the magnitude and scale of this event.

"Why pick on the first," he responded when asked how the nerves were on the first tee. "They were still rocking and rolling on the 18th green actually. I completely skanked my first tee shot but still knocked it on the fairway and had a chance for par but from there on through it was pretty steady.

"Probably standing on the 7th tee was the most nervous I had felt but hit probably my best tee shot of the day up onto the green and two putted for my first birdie to get it back to even par birdie and from there on I felt a lot more comfortable.

"Its (nerves) something I have worked on with my mind coach whether it be the Rex Open on the Nationwide Tour or here. Just going through my routine and trying to keep it as simple as possible. It's hard to ignore this as being the US Open with the crowds and Tiger and that but that is what I was trying to do.

"The golf course was a bit firmer and faster today and the greens were bouncing a little more and faster."

Presnell's mother, Fiona, who celebrates a birthday today, was in the crowd having returned to the US to see her son play the event.

"I will be buying her dinner tonight," said Presnell with a smile across his face.

"I am thrilled but then again you can't win it on the first or second day but you can lose it so hopefully I have put myself in a good enough position to go out there and have another great day tomorrow and see where it takes us."

Whether Presnell remains as the leading Australian by day's end remains to be seen but there is little doubt his first round in a US Open has been a memorable one.

Bruce Young
About The Author : Bruce Young

A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of and background in the game of golf comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.

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