Dave-jà vu for Bransdon

David Bransdon
David Bransdon in the first round of the 2018 Oates Vic Open. (Photo: Golf Victoria/Paul Shire)


It was a case of history repeating on Thursday at the 2018 Oates Vic Open after David Bransdon fired another 8-under 64 on the Creek Course to share the first round lead.

The Victorian replicated his performance of 12 months ago and once again pointed to his putting – but his feats were matched by rookie pro James Anstiss.

The 22-year-New Zealander raced out of the blocks at 13th Beach Golf Links, his opening 64 coming in just his second start on the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia.

Bransdon and Anstiss are one stroke clear of another tour journeyman and Kiwi, with Peter Wilson and Nick Voke signing for matching 7-under 65s.

The leading quartet all drew the Creek Course on day one, the leaders Bransdon and Anstiss able to make the most of the morning’s more benign conditions.

Voke’s bogey on the par-4 8th was the only dropped shot from any of the leading four today.

Of the three players to finish the day at T5, only Taylor Macdonald and another New Zealander Harry Bateman teed it up on the Beach Course on their way to rounds of 6-under 66.

It will take more than some light winds to cool down the new World Number 9 on the amateur rankings, Victorian Dave Micheluzzi continuing his unbelievable run of form with a 66 of his own.



While unexpected, Bransdon’s fast start should have come as no surprise in his home state Open.

“Maybe I should ask the tournament organisers if we can play three rounds around there and one around the Beach [Course],” joked Bransdon after signing his card.

“I seem to hole putts over there. I don’t know what it is, I hit nice putts over there and I had good lines.

“If you have 36 putts, you’re never going to shoot 8-under.”

After picking up a college degree in the US last year, Anstiss returned to the southern hemisphere to begin his career in the pay-for-play ranks.

Today’s round was his first under-par as a professional and he’ll be hoping to for a similar performance when he takes to the tougher Beach Course in Friday’s second round.

“I probably hit 16 greens, made a couple of 15-footers and hit a couple close. It was pretty stress-free,” said Anstiss.

“I’ll be off in the afternoon so there will be a bit of wind but I love the wind, it’s where I play my best golf.

“I’ve got a good game plan so I’ll stick to that, carry on and hopefully keep holing the putts.”

Former winners Matthew Giles (2013) and Ash Hall (2009) are joined by defending champ Dimi Papadatos in the pack of players to sign for a 5-under 67, along with Matt Jager, Jordan Zunic, American Tyler McCumber and another Victorian amateur, Matias Sanchez.