Queenslander Matthew Guyatt takes a surprise lead
QUEENSLANDER Matthew Guyatt has a wife, three kids and a mortgage ... and as of Wednesday night he had a two-shot lead in the Australian Masters.
Guyatt was a virtual unknown coming into the tournament, and had not even played a round at Kingston Heath before this week.
But that didn't stop him firing eight birdies and a bogey for a seven-under par 65, two clear of a trio of chasers including tournament favourites Adam Scott and Ian Poulter.
Guyatt, who gave golf away a decade ago and spent three years playing AFL at Queensland state level, said he was only playing on the tour thanks to the financial support of an anonymous benefactor.
"A couple of years ago I was just enjoying my life and enjoying coaching (at a golf club in Brisbane).
"I played in the pro-am and just happened to meet a guy who was willing to help me out," Guyatt said.
"He said, 'You're too good to be teaching, you need to go and have a crack.
"I said, 'Well, I've got a mortgage and three kids and I'm not going anywhere unless I can have some support.
"He's been kind enough to do that, so it's been a great opportunity."
Guyatt said while he had never been in the situation of leading a big tournament before, he wasn't going to get ahead of himself.
"It's the first day of four and we all know that it takes four good days to win a tournament, particularly against the calibre of those guys," he said.
Scott was happy with the way he played in the morning, and Poulter said he had lucky enough to roll in some lengthy putts in what were unusually good afternoon conditions for scoring.
"I holed a couple of nice 25-footers but I made a real pig's ear of 16," he said.
"I think five-under is acceptable, but it's a golf course that if play well and you give yourself a lot of chances, you'd expect to hole a lot of putts.
"The greens are perfect and, if you hit your line, it's got a great chance to go in."