West Australians lead the charge at Oates Vic Open

Michael Sim
Michael Sim in action at 13th Beach

There was no anxiety for Scott Strange this afternoon as his impressive score of 9-under par could not be topped by the tournament’s remaining men.

Fellow Western Australian Michael Sim looked the goods early by capturing four birdies at the exchange of one bogey.

While an eagle on the penultimate hole was also convenient for the Scottish born Sim he would still be left tied second with Aron Price (NSW) four strokes adrift the lead.  

In an eventful afternoon session David Bransdon matched his four bogeys with three impressive eagles on the beach course to boast for bragging rights as the leading Victorian and fourth overall with a score of 4-under par.

Nevertheless Strange remained as the leader with comfort following a morning round the 38-year-old described as a return to his youth years.

“I felt like I was 15 again with the putter, I was holing everything,” Strange said.

“I actually said to the guys, ‘This is ridiculous’.

“I was looking at 30-footers and they were just going in, centre cup. It was windy and it was difficult, but any day you’re doing that, you’re going to shoot a number and today I just managed to roll some putts in.”

While his streak looks to put him in great stead for the remaining three day’s play, the return of his enjoyment of the game could not be taken for granted either after interruptions in recent years.

“Our family went through a fair bit. I had a few things going on in my life and I hated golf. You can’t play doing that,” said Strange, a winner of the 2008 Welsh Open and 2009 China Open.

He continued, “But my whole life has changed. I used to be very selfish and play golf for myself but I don’t now, I play golf for my family.

“I can’t wait to go home when I’m finished next week whereas before I would go to Europe for six or seven months straight.”

A tally of five birdies and an eagle for Michael Long saw the New Zealander finish at 3-under-par making him the leading International in front of American Ryan Carter who is tied for 10th.

Meanwhile a late eagle on the beach course saw Curtis Luck live up to his name and finish 2-under par as the leading amateur player; an 18-year-old talent from the West Coast.

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