8am Round-Up: Jimmy Gunn fires 66 in Australia

Jimmy Gunn is sitting in the top 20 after the opening round of the New South Wales Open. Picture: Getty Images
Jimmy Gunn is sitting in the top 20 after the opening round of the New South Wales Open. Picture: Getty Images
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Scottish duo Jimmy Gunn and Connor Syme both opened with sub-par efforts in the New South Wales Open.

American-based pro Gunn carded a six-under-par 66 at Stonecutters Ridge to sit joint-18th at the end of the first day as home amateur Brett Coletta set a hot pace with a 62.

Drumoig amateur Syme posted a 69 at the Colebee venue to sit joint-55th, giving himself a chance to make the cut in his final warm up for next week’s Australian Open appearance.

Dornoch man Gunn had seven birdies on his card, as did Syme, who earned his spot in the field as the Australian Amateur champion.

Coletta, who wasn’t part of Australia’s Eisenhower Trophy-winning team in Mexico earlier in the year, underlined the strength of the amateur game in that country with a stunning opening effort.

He was out in 33 before storming home in 29, thanks to an eagle and five birdies, to lead by one from compatriots Rory Bourke and David Brandson.

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Luttrellstown Castle Resort in Ireland will stage next year’s Titleist and FootJoy PGA Professional Championship.

The Castleknock venue, which dates back to the 1400s, will host the event for the UK’s leading PGA pros from June 13-16.

It’s the first time the 72-hole tournament has been held in Ireland since 2001.

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Greig Hutcheon maintained his strong end to the year by winning the North-East Alliance event at Fraserburgh with a one-under-69.

The Paul Lawrie Golf Centre Inchmarlo man finished two shots ahead of Newmachar’s John Duff.

Hutcheon recently finished third in the PGA Play-Offs then won a shoot-out for a spot in next year’s PGA Cup, to be played at Foxhills in Surrey.

Paul Lawrie finished nine shots behind Hutcheon after a dismal day. “Drove it the worst ever,” he wrote on Twitter. “Hit eight provisional balls off tees.”

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Fellow assistant pros Mike Mackenzie (Edzell) and David Snodgrass (Crail) shared top spot with matching four--under-par 68s over the Torrance Course at Fairmont St Andrews in the Midland Golfers’ Alliance Graham Environmental Services Pro-Am.