Tianlang Guan is faring well on an Alister Mackenzie design. He hopes the same sentence can be written in April.
Guan, the Asia-Pacific Amateur champion, shot 68 Tuesday in the first round of the Australian Master of the Amateurs. He’s one shot back of a five-way tie for the lead. The Master of the Amateurs is being held at historic Royal Melbourne Golf Club, site of the 2011 Presidents Cup and regarded as one of the world’s finest courses. Mackenzie designed both Royal Melbourne and Augusta National, where the 14-year-old Guan will play in this year’s Masters.
Guan is one shot behind five Australians: Brady Watt, Viraat Badhwar, Geoff Drakeford, Nathan Holman and Jordan Zunic. Watt, No. 16 in the R&A World Amateur Golf Ranking, is the highest-ranked Australian in the field. Holman won the 2012 Master of the Amateurs. Badhwar, who has signed a letter of intent with Stanford, won the 2012 Toyota Junior Golf World Cup in Japan and was the runner-up at the 2012 Australian Boys Amateur Championship.
Tennessee’s Richard Lamb shot 70 and is the highest American on the leaderboard. His countrymen struggled in the first round at Royal Melbourne. Peter Williamson, the No. 4 amateur in the R&A World Amateur Golf Ranking, shot 76.
Stanford’s Patrick Rodgers shot 72 and Cal’s Brandon Hagy fired 73.