10 February 2017
Jake McLeod lit up the Creek Course at Thirteenth Beach Golf Links firing a course record 11-under 61 to lead the Oates Vic Open.
Teeing off the 10th, McLeod got off to a quiet start but felt his game was on track to produce a low round.
With two birdies and a bogey in his opening six holes, his round ignited with a birdie at the par-4 16th which he quickly followed with an eagle at the par-5 17th before rounding out his first nine holes with a birdie.
After 14 holes the 22-year-old Queenslander was 6-under the card before he finished his round in a flurry, going birdie, eagle, birdie, birdie he signed for a 61 and the second round lead.
“It’s the first course record for me so I am stoked. I played unbelievably today, hit the ball so well and rolled in some putts too,” said McLeod.
“I was only 1-under through six and I was still feeling good but I wasn’t expecting anything, I had a couple of eagles and those three last holes really helped.
“In the first six I was hitting it close, I just made a bogey, other than that I was rolling it nicely and feeling really confident and hitting it pure.
“I hit it close to about 2 feet on 16 for birdie, and then rolled in a 20 footer on 17 for eagle. That got me going with 10 to play.”
2016 was McLeod’s first full season on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia, he finished 32nd on the Order of Merit thanks to a runner-up finish at the South Pacific Open and top-25 finishes at the Emirates Australian Open and Australian PGA Championship.
With full status on his home Tour, McLeod’s confidence is growing, evident in his top-10 finish at the season opening Victorian PGA Championship and his performance today.
“The last few months have been pretty good for me. I think mentally I am a little better, my course strategy is a lot better and I am sticking to my game plan and feeling very confident,” added McLeod, who still isn’t used to the limelight.
“I saw you all (media) coming out there and I got a little nervous but I managed to hang on there in the end.
“It will be exciting to be in the final group, maybe, it depends how the boys go this afternoon, it would be a good experience.”
While he waits to see what will unfold in the second session of round two, McLeod will be relaxing in Barwon Heads.
“I am pretty nervous and pumped at the moment but it’s exciting,” added McLeod.
“I will go get my ice-cream this afternoon, down at Barwon Heads, there is a good joint down there and then try to chill out.”
Watch Jake's post round interview
This article first appeared on the PGA of Australia website