If the 13th beach had a trainer, it would have thrown the towel in the ring … and asked
Both Beach and Creek courses today took a frightening beech, unrivaled in ISPS Handa Vic Open history because benign circumstances paved the way for a number of knockout scorings.
No fewer than 64 gentlemen carded rounds of 68 or better. If that trend continued in the second round of Friday, the cut would fall somewhere in a stunning eight under reach.
Astonishing, 31 of them were 66 or better.
On another day, a rising start Lucas Herbert, past champion Matt Griffin, rising home-state amateur Andre Lautee or evergreen Wade Ormsby – four of the seven to card 65s – would have grabbed the headlines.
Or the stories of nine-birdie-in-a-row hero James Nitties or Chilean entertainer Hugo Leon – two out of six on eight-under-par – would have been the talk of the city.
But instead, that honor was left to one of Australia's most sympathetic fellow fighters, Nick Flanagan.
Flanagan, a proud Novocastrian now based in Texas, was just two of the seven through holes that had been taken on the tenth of the Creek Course – and watched in the course of a good but not spectacular round.
But five birdies and his second eagle from the round nine turned everything into a mad rush, culminating in a career-best tournament round of 10-under-par 62.
"It felt super uncomfortable, but it was a bit easy if that made sense, it's not really like that," said the softly pronounced Flanagan after his round.
"A few putts fell early and then I just did not try too hard, I just had one of those days where everything seemed to be right.
"If I were to take a bad photo, it would just be missing a bunker and end up in a nice lie, it would beat up close and it would continue to be a kind of momentum.
"Of course you never expected what to do because I had a bogey when I was six and went back to five, and then the next, (I went) birdie, birdie, eagle, birdie and you are 10 years old.
"It can come up so quickly."
Flanagan, the American Amateur Champion 2003, has been in his roller coaster career until the US PGA Tour
But he had done everything to chase the big dream until he was caddy for good morning Aron Price at the 2016 US Open and something in him rose.
From that moment on, and with his body full of injuries that are finally starting to work instead of against him, Flanagan has gone down a non-glamorous path to this point, including the passing of the PGA Tour or Australasia Q-school in 2017 to be himself only to give. standing in the grueling world of professional golfing.
"I have played well in the last two years, I have not played enough golf yet," he said.
"I'm just trying to lower expectations and go back to where I was, it's clear that it's working today, it's not going to work every day this year, but if it continues to work this week, it would be great. that is not the case, continue to build on it for the next few weeks.
"It is also great to have five events in a row (including New Zealand), because that costs a lot of pressure instead of just one big event and then sit for three weeks and do nothing."
No matter how much he tries to stay in the moment, Flanagan knows that the big prize at the end of the week would change the course of his wild ride again.
"I would like to play in Europe, I feel like the European Tour suits my race, courses like this and just a little bit of golf on a part of the golf I've played in the last two or three years. on Monday quickly grow old, so I'm sick of it. "