Joint men's-women's Australian Open golf tournament begins

(AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

By BRUCE MATTHEWS

Associated Press

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) David Micheluzzi shot an equal course record 7-under 63 to set the early pace Thursday at the historic Australian Open featuring men's and women's championships being held concurrently.

Micheluzzi had had eight birdies to match fellow Australians Geoff Ogilvy (2011) and Ryan Ruffels (2014) at Victoria Golf Club.

Micheluzzi broke through for his debut pro victory at the Western Australian PGA last month and finished top 10 at last week's Australian PGA at Royal Queensland.

Another young Australian Grace Kim led the way early in the women's field with a 7-under 66 at neighboring Kingston Heath Golf Club that is being used for the first two rounds of the championships where men and women play in alternate threesomes at the two courses.

Australian Hannah Green and South Korea's Jiyai Shin also played at Kingston Heath with matching 68s.

The next-best of the men's morning groups were rookie professional Connor McKinney, Zinyo Garcia of Australia and American Gunner Wiebe.

McKinney and Garcia carded 67s at Victoria, while Wiebe produced a round of 69 to be the pick of the bunch at Kingston Heath.

There will be a 36-hole cut of the top 60 and ties for both championships on Friday and a second cut of the top 30 and ties following play on Saturday.

With play spread across two courses for the first two days, players in both the men's and women's championships will play one round at each course before the 36-hole cut.

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Updated November 30, 2022

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