Deyen Lawson fired a flawless 8-under-par 62 to grab a two-stroke lead over fellow Queenslander Ryley Martin in the 98th edition of the Nexus Advisernet WA Open.
A group of four players, including Western Australia amateurs Joshua Greer and Alex Maxwell, last week’s 54-hole leader Jarryd Felton and South Australia’s Jack Thompson, are well placed at 5 under par in a day of low scoring around The Western Australian Golf Club.
For the briefest moments, Lawson flirted with the idea of shooting the magical number of 59 around the par 70 layout in Yokine.
“I thought about it for about half a second,” conceded Lawson, who had a chance from 15 feet to move to 8-under through 12 holes.
“There are so many thoughts that creep into your mind during a golf round. After I hit the tee shot on 12 I thought, ‘I can hole that to go to eight-under with six holes to go. That’s three more birdies.’
“And then I walked off the tee and into the trees and forgot about everything I was thinking about. I’ve been in that position before and it’s not good to think about.”
Ultimately, Lawson signed for a course-record equalling round of 62, matching Curtis Luck’s effort in 2016, and an excellent day at the office.
It was a good day for a number of amateurs in the field, too, with former champion Hayden Hopewell and British Amateur champion Aldrich Potgieter signing for 4-under-par 66s to sit a stroke behind Greer, whose round included seven birdies and two dropped shots, and Maxwell, who fired five birdies and bogeys in a superb late round.
New South Wales Jeffrey Guan shot 67, with Alex Maxwell and Adam Brady a shot further back on 2 under, and in a tie for 20th. Jack Buchanan and Joseph Buttress rounded out the amateurs who finished the day in red numbers, with rounds of 69.
Potgieter, who left Australia to return to his homeland of South Africa at the end of last year, only arrived in Perth on Wednesday evening, but drew from his experience of playing plenty of junior golf at WAGC.
“I actually won the Western Australian Amateur Open here last year,” he explained. “So I know the course really well and i have fond memories. The jetlag probably hasn’t set in yet, but I’m just going to go out and enjoy myself and enjoy being back in Perth.”
Meanwhile Ben Ferguson made a hole-in-one on the par-three 11th hole, holing an 8-iron from 164 metres. The Western Australian signed for a 1 -over-par round of 71 and a share of 51st. The top 50 professionals and ties will progress to the weekend rounds after tomorrow’s cut.