Semi-unknown Spaniard sweeps the first day

"It was a crazy day, we were very present, enjoying our golf," Moscatel said of himself and his caddy

by Andrea Gussoni
Semi-unknown Spaniard sweeps the first day
© Getty Images Sport - Naomi Baker / Staff

World number 1,162, Spaniard Joel Moscatel Nachshon, equaled the course record with a stellar opening round of 63 to become the surprise leader of the Australian PGA Championship on Thursday, while defending champion Cameron Smith He lamented a "terrible" start.

Joel Moscatel Nachshon, results

Moscatel Nachshon rose to the top of the standings at Royal Queensland with a run of five birdies from holes 12 to 16, posting a bogey-free round of eight under par to move one stroke ahead of local talent Min Woo Lee.

Moscatel thus overcame the disappointment of not having obtained the DP World Tour card at the Infinitum in Tarragona last week. The Catalan, a 25-year-old professional from RCG El Prat, did not get the full card due to a blow at the School last week, but on the first day of the European circuit season he finished the first round 'on fire'

"It was a crazy day, we were very present, enjoying our golf," Moscatel said of himself and his caddy. Adam Scott was one over par after five holes but made five birdies in six holes and closed with two more on the final three holes to finish with a 66 and improve his chances of a third Australian PGA title.

"I'm glad we played a solid round and got off to a good start," Scott said. The same cannot be said for defending champion and local favorite, Cameron Smith, who opened with a 73. "It's been frustrating, annoying... I really couldn't do anything," Smith said.

The tournament is co-sanctioned by the European and Australasian circuits. Royal Queensland, opened in 1920 and situated along the north bank of the Brisbane River, is the proposed venue of the Olympic golf tournament for the 2032 Games.

As for the other two Spaniards participating in the tournament, the Canarian Rafa Cabrera scored 68 strokes, three under par, and is tied for 16th while Alfredo García Heredia scored 72. The tournament awards 2 million Australian dollars (1.3 million US dollars) and kicks off the new season of the DP World Tour.