SYDNEY'S Kevin Yuan has made a blistering start to the 2016 Australian Amateur, torching the Metropolitan Golf Club in a new amateur course record 64 to open a two shot lead after one round of strokeplay qualifying.
Yuan, a member at The Australian Golf Club, carded six birdies and an eagle to be two ahead of Charles Pilon who finished late in the day at 6-under.
In the women's tournament South Korea's Hyum-kyung Park also holds a clear lead over her nearest rivals after opening with a 6-under 67 at Peninsula Kingswood's Kingswood course.
Yuan, though, was the story of the day, his blemish free round a scintillating start for a player under an injury cloud until only a few weeks ago.
Yuan hurt his wrist while moving weights around a gym late last year and was forced out of competitive play for almost three months to recover.
“I was actually not doing exercise (at the time of suffering the injury), but just moving the weights,” he told the Golf Australia website.
“My wrist healed in time and I was able to hit balls in early December but I could only sort of muck around until a few weeks ago.
“But I put in some pretty good work over Christmas, so I’m pretty happy with how I’m playing.”
Yuan said the layoff saw him come to Melbourne without any great expectations and a mind free to just play.
“I went out there with an open mind and tried to get a few birdies on the par-fives and the shorter par-fours and make pars on the tougher holes and I think that’s what I did,” he said.
“It’s an amazing golf course to shoot 64 at – I had so much fun out there and playing such a good course and hitting the shots I had in my mind.
“I hold the Aussie Amateur in high regard and I have tried to practise hard for it and I think I’ve done my work … despite my injury.”
Yuan will play the Peninsula Kingswood Country Golf Club's Kingswood course tomorrow before the cut to the top 64 is made for the matchplay portion of the tournament.
Half the field played Metropolitan today and half played Kingswood with the fields swapped for the second round.
In the women's event, Korea's Park was almost as impressive as Yuan. The teenager was a member of the winning Korean team at the Asia Pacific Golf Championship last year and showed good form in today's opening round.
With five birdies and an eagle against a lone bogey for the day, Park has put herself in good position to make the matchplay for the second straight year.
Last year she was knocked out in the first round by Japan's Yuri Matsubara who, ironically, is currently sharing second with Western Australia's Hannah Green after 18 holes.
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