Alistair Presnell put the Australian ‘Southern Cross’ flag high up on the leader board and in a share of seventh place on day one of the U.S. Open.
The Melbourne-born Presnell is competing in a Major Championship for a first time and easily upstaged his more fancied compatriots with two birdies and two bogeys in a round of 70.
Presnell, 33 is competing on the secondary Nationwide Tour and qualified for the season’s second Major at a sectional qualifier in Houston.
And it was an emotional experience for Presnell as his late father, Ray had been in attendance at the 1987 U.S. Open at Olympic.
Presnell fought nerves in his first Major Championship starting with a bogey before he settled well to pick his was around the tight tree-lined Olympic course to be well placed heading to the second round.
“I was certainly nervous, I’m still nervous,” said Presnell.
“But it was nice to stick to a routine out there that I’ve been working on for a while and it held up through the first five holes, well six holes, after an early bogey on the first.
“To have a birdie there on seven and hit a great tee shot in on eight got me a little bit more comfortable out there.”
Presnell easily heads the field of nine Aussies includng John Senden (72), Rod Pampling (74), Aaron Baddeley (75), Geoff Ogilvy (76), Brendan Jones (76), Adam Scott (76) and Anthony Summers (76).