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Micheluzzi makes pace in golf’s TPS Sydney

Victorian David Micheluzzi has produced his best ball-striking display of the summer to take a one-shot lead on day one of the TPS Sydney at Bonnie Doon Golf Club.

A 90-minute rain delay due to the intense showers that lashed Sydney on Thursday meant the afternoon groups played late into the evening, Micheluzzi completing his round of five-under-par 66 just before 7pm.

Young New South Welshman Lucas Higgins completed 16 holes at four-under par to be outright second and just one shot off the lead.

Higgins is among a number of players who will complete their opening round on Friday morning.

Australian PGA champion Jed Morgan and the returning Brendan Jones were the best of the morning wave with rounds of three-under 68, Cameron John and Aaron Pike (through 16 holes) joining them in a share of third in the calmer afternoon conditions.

Three top-10 finishes in his past five starts has Micheluzzi 10th on the PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit, a day of hitting 17 of 18 greens in regulation enhancing his prospects of a major move by Sunday.

“It was brilliant. One of my finest this season,” said Micheluzzi, who drove three of Bonnie Doon’s short par-4s on the back nine for birdies and charged home with three birdies in his final five holes.

“Missed one green and got up-and-down and hit two par-5s in two.

“Didn’t have a really great day with the putter to be honest but I just took my chances on the short par-4s and the par-5s and that’s where I got it done.”

The first foreign player to amass a billion YEN in career earnings on the Japan Golf Tour, Jones was something of a surprise co-leader early on day one.

The 47-year-old has played just one competitive tournament since March 2020 to fall to No.1685 in the world having once been ranked as high as No.52.

He has revelled in the opportunity to work for a landscaping company and spend time with his two sons for the past year but is now ready to down tools and take a final crack on tour.

“I generally play my best fresh and can’t get much fresher than what I am,” said Jones, who warmed up for his competitive return by joining 11 mates on a golf trip to King Island.

“I know I’m still good enough. I’ve got a new set of clubs and probably the best attitude I’ve had for a long time.”

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