Australian Open Golf meet tees off in wild and windy day

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Sydney, Nov 15  A part time Uber driver upstaged the field early on day one of the Australian Open here on Thursday. However, a late eagle by South Korea’s An Byeong Hun fired the former teenage prodigy to the top slot.

Overcoming blustering winds on the course, Australian Adam Stephens, who is ranked 1,939th in the world and turned to Uber driving to help with his mortgage, scored five birdies and two bogeys to be tied with 2016 Olympian Marcus Fraser, reports Xinhua news agency.

“I know the course fairly well. I’ve got a couple of mates who are members,” Stephens said.

“My caddie was a member here, I just try and keep the bogeys down for the week, just like keep doing your birdies and you’re going to be up there.”

However, a three on the par-5 eighth hole rocketed An to a five-under-par 67, while Stephens, Fraser and fellow Australian Dimitrios Papadatos retreated to the clubhouse due to rain, sharing a tied third place.

An, the World No. 51 and youngest-ever winner of the US Amateur title, an event Tiger Woods ruled for three straight years, was one stroke clear of second placed, Australian Mat Jager at the end of the day.

Tournament favourite Cameron Smith struggled to a two-over par as did his American playing partner Brandt Snedeker, two of the many who struggled in the conditions.  – IANS