Little known golfer Cameron Davis sets cracking pace at the Australian Open

David Lord Columnist

By David Lord, David Lord is a Roar Expert

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    With all eyes on former world number ones Jordan Spieth and Jason Day during the opening round of the 102nd Australian Open, 22-year-old Cameron Davis stole the show.

    The former Australian Amateur champion carded six birdies in his first seven holes at the Australian Golf Club in Sydney before his only bogey at the ninth.

    Turning in five-under 30, Davis added three more birdies on the back nine for his sensational 63, and a two-shot lead.

    Day showed signs of moving into top gear with his early tee time 66 that included a double bogey, but Spieth really struggled in the afternoon winds for a one-under 70.

    Only for the fact Spieth is a superb golfer, his waywardness would have been closer to 80, and out of the tournament.

    The American was all over the course in either rough off the tee or take your pick – fairway or greenside bunkers.

    That he managed six birdies and five bogeys was an awesome reminder he’s capable of anything if he clicks today.

    Day and Spieth headed the two marquee groups of the tournament for the first two rounds.

    Day played with Geoff Ogilvy and Rod Pampling in almost perfect conditions with a 7am tee time.

    Ogilvy finished with six birdies but a double and two bogeys in his 69, while Pampling went one better with four birdies, and a lone bogey.

    Spieth had Matt Jones, and the baby-faced Cameron Smith as his playing partners.

    Spieth and Jones have won the last three Australian Opens between them with Spieth successful in 2014 at his first attempt, and again last year, while Jones kept Spieth at bay in 2015.

    Jones had a strange afternoon with four birdies and as many bogeys, with a 60-foot putt from off the green his highlight.

    Smith looks so young he could well be in shorts at primary school, but this young Australian can play.

    He’s cracked the world’s top 100 for the first time and despite a double bogey on the way home, he fought back to finish with a two-under 69.

    But the opening day belonged to Cameron Davis, with two other highlights worthy of mention.

    Brad Shilton aced the par three 11th to win a $16,500 Taq Heuer watch, but the sponsored par three fourth hole will be full of interest.

    An ace there will win 285 bottles of Jack Daniels, now that’s a decent drink – it’s a wonder Wayne Grady hasn’t come out of retirement.

    Nick O’Hern has done just that to play in his national Open.

    In his only tournament of the year, the popular leftie carded a one-under 70 while he putted right handed, holing many difficult putts.

    O’Hern is 46 and will be remembered on the USPGA tour as the first golfer to beat Tiger Woods in a matchplay tournament – and he did it twice.

    O’Hern spent nine years on the toughest golf circuit in the world, and while his best finish was sixth in the 2006 US Open won by Geoff Ogilvy, O’Hern still banked close to eight million dollars.

    But this Australian Open should see Jordan Spieth and Jason Day fighting it out on Sunday.

    Then they would be honouring the one million bucks apiece appearance money.

    Seeing first prizemoney is a paltry $225,000, both Spieth and Day would be expected to fire.

    Maybe Cameron Davis will have a say in that, depending on what he shoots today.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn?t get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world?s great sporting spectacles

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