Mowbray champion Michael Leedham leads interstate golfers in home senior tournament

FULL SWING: New South Welshman Stefan Albinski tees off during the opening day of the Tasmanian Senior Amateur Championship at Mowbray. Picture: Neil Richardson

FULL SWING: New South Welshman Stefan Albinski tees off during the opening day of the Tasmanian Senior Amateur Championship at Mowbray. Picture: Neil Richardson

Six-time winner Michael Leedham holds an equal share of the overnight lead in the 2017 Tasmanian Senior Amateur Championship at the Mowbray Golf Club.

Leedham shot an even-par 71 on his home course to tie with Victorian Gordon Claney on Wednesday.

Claney, who plays out of the premier Kingston Heath course in Melbourne’s sandbelt south-east, took out the 2014 Australian senior amateur title and this year’s New South Wales open.

He lived up to expectations on the opening day as Leedham’s strongest contender in his title defence at the 54-hole tournament.

The leading pair opened a handy gap on Queensland rival Brad Dowling after he finished with a three-over 74.

SATISFIED: Local hope Michael Leedham walks away after a fine approach down the fairway. Picture: Neil Richardson.

SATISFIED: Local hope Michael Leedham walks away after a fine approach down the fairway. Picture: Neil Richardson.

A host of interstate raiders sit a further stroke behind.

South Australian John Davey, Victorian Kym Olsen and New South Wales trio Stefan Albinski, Christopher Gordon and David Gleeson settled on a four-over 75.

Wynyard’s Craig Clark and Royal Hobart’s Richard Denholm kept pace to strengthen the Tasmanian charge.

The pair finished the first 18 holes five off the pace along with West Australian Stephen Graham and South Australian Chris Everett, the quartet hitting a 76 each.

Other Tasmanians still look to remain well in contention with two days left.

EYES AHEAD: Bill Wellington swings through the ball. Picture: Neil Richardson

EYES AHEAD: Bill Wellington swings through the ball. Picture: Neil Richardson

Huon Valley’s Bill Wellington shot a 77 to lie in equal 13th overall.

Prospect Vale’s Robbie Berne also joined Launceston’s David Hamilton on 78, just seven strokes behind Leedham and Claney.

Mowbray’s Leigh Rodman finished with a nine-over 80, two ahead of clubmate Neil Maynard and Tasmania Golf Club’s Ranald Allan.

Adrian Dennis and Rick Jacobson both negotiated their home course to stay in the hunt, scoring 84 and 85 respectively.

The Mowbray pair finished on either side of the top 10 state players.

PERFECT ADDRESS: Victorian Kym Olsen took advantage of good conditions on Wednesday. Picture: Neil Richardson

PERFECT ADDRESS: Victorian Kym Olsen took advantage of good conditions on Wednesday. Picture: Neil Richardson

Half of the 56 competitors at the senior men’s amateur championship play their golf in Tasmania, including 14 turning out from the host Mowbray Golf Club.

The amateur strokeplay tournament that attracts seasoned interstate players to Tasmania each year is one of the Australian men’s senior ranking events for golfers aged 55 years and over.

Local players could boast leading the age division nett results on Wednesday. 

Rodman shot a 67 in the 55-59 years. Terry Clare, also from Mowbray, hit a 70 in the 60-64 years. Leedham joined Ross Banks on 72 in the 65-69 years. Hamilton finished with 72 in the 70-plus years.