Quadruple-bogey ends Younger's hopes of leading
On course for sole lead, Australian plays quadruple-bogey to fall to tied-24th
He took over the lead with four holes to go, and looked good for the sole leadership on the first day of the inaugural US$750,000 ($1.05m) World Classic Championship at Laguna National yesterday.
But Australian Josh Younger made a hash of his next hole, the par-four fifth, on the club's World Classic course, carding a nine to dash his hopes of taking the clubhouse lead yesterday.
The world No. 525-ranked golfer eventually finished on two-over 73 and tied for 24th.
Younger said: "I think I played pretty well except for that hole. I hit the ball into a bunker and then lost the ball.
"I hit a good shot, but it went too far, and it was a hard punishment for me.
"But I am not too far off the leaders, and I just got to do my thing tomorrow and get it right."
The unforgiving World Classic course, dubbed "Asia's Toughest Test" and nicknamed "the Beast", also claimed many other casualties.
And ironically, Singapore's No. 1 golfer Mardan Mamat fell victim to one of his favourite holes, the Masters' 18th, the finishing hole that sealed his victory at the Osim Masters in 2006.
The 48-year-old was one over going into the par-four final hole in fading light, and carded a double-bogey to finish on three over and tied for 40th.
"I rushed to finish the last hole and did a double-bogey. I shouldn't have rushed, and instead played that hole tomorrow morning," said a visibly disappointed Mardan, before excusing himself.
Singapore-based Australian Scott Barr took advantage of his knowledge of the Laguna course, though.
The Australian shared the overnight lead with South Korean Wang Jeung Hun, fellow Australian Sam Brazel and Thai Natipong Srithong on two under.
The quartet, along with American Berry Henson and the Philippines' Miguel Tabuena (both one under) were the only golfers in the 144-strong field to break par yesterday.
Starting on the back nine, Barr was three over after seven holes, but managed to recover well to move atop the leaderboard.
He said: "It's great to have the local knowledge... there are a bunch of holes through the back nine which are really difficult and you've got to be really patient.
"Just one shot there can change the mood of the day as you can easily walk off with a double or triple.
"I've experienced that before here and that's why I've learnt to be really patient with myself around here."
Henson was ecstatic to have broken par yesterday, and is raring to have a go at the course again today.
He said: "I managed to slay the Beast today and I'm pretty ecstatic I managed to shoot under par, especially on my first attempt here.
"I think breaking par here is going to be the story this week and, if you can do that, you'll be moving up the leaderboard."
"For now, I just super excited to be able to post a red number (under par) and I'm looking forward to doing better tomorrow," added the American, who traded three bogeys for four birdies.
Play was suspended due to fading light, with 21 golfers due to return to the course this morning to finish their first round.
69: Wang Jeung Hun (Kor), Sam Brazel (Aus), Natipong Srithong (Tha), Scott Barr (Aus).
70: Berry Henson (USA), Miguel Tabuena (Phi).
71: Paul Peterson (USA), Chinnarat Phadungsil (Tha), Charlie Wi (Kor), Unho Park (Aus), Shaun Norris (Rsa), Lindsay Renolds (Can), Jazz Janewattananond (Tha), Namchok Tantipokhakul (Tha), Siddikur Rahman (Ban).
72: Anura Rohana (Sri), Shiv Kapur (Ind), Danthai Boonma (Tha), Jbe Kruger (RSA), Panuphol Pittayarat (Tha).
73: Goh Kun Yang, Danny Chia (Mas).
74: Choo Tze Huang, Mardan Mamat.
75: Jonathan Woo.
76: Quincy Quek, Mitchell Slorach.
77: Francis Tan, Lion Goh (Mas), Lam Chih Bing.