Peeved Micheluzzi leads Australian Open

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World No.556 David Micheluzzi has backed up his rankings rant with a sizzling Australian Open first round to capture a commanding clubhouse lead over the chasing pack.

Sixth at the Australian PGA Championship after winning last month's WA PGA, Micheluzzi continued his hot form with a seven-under-par 63 at Victoria Golf Club to set a cracking early pace on Thursday.

The Victorian rolled in eight birdies and dropped his only shot of the day at the par-four 10th hole in a statement showing two days after venting his rankings frustrations on social media.

In no uncertain terms, Micheluzzi pointed out how he picked up double the amount of rankings points for finishing ninth at the 2021 Australian PGA Championship than he collected for placing sixth last week with world No.3 Cameron Smith in the field.

"WTF is this shit!," he posted on Twitter.   

Even Tiger Woods this week called for a rankings overhaul as golf officials grapple with how to deal with the emergence of the Saudi-backed LIV tour that has so dramatically shaken up the sport.

Taking advantage of the benign morning conditions, Micheluzzi was clearly a man on a mission as he reeled off birdies at the second, fourth, fifth, ninth, 12th, 13th, 17th and 18th holes.

"I'm not going to even mention about the world ranking points," he said post-blitz.

"Everyone knows what I think of it. Good golf takes care of itself."

Fellow Australians Connor McKinney and Zinyo Garcia signed for 67s, while American Gunner Wiebe carded a 69 at neighbouring Kingston Heath - the other sandbelt club co-hosting the Open - to also sit at three under.

With seven birdies, Adam Scott managed a one-under 71 at Kingston Heath despite lamenting four bogeys and a double.

Men and women are sharing the fairways at a national championship for the first time anywhere in the world, forcing officials to apply a second cut after Saturday's third round to reduce the two fields to the top-30 players and ties.

That leaves Scott playing catch-up on Friday.

He may not be the only one, with tournament favourite Smith labouring to the turn at even par following his afternoon start at Victoria.

Bidding for a sixth victory of a stellar year, Smith is also chasing the first Australian PGA-Australian Open title double since Greg Chalmers achieved the rare feat in 2011.

But the 150th British Open champion was languishing in a share of 49th spot midway through his first round.


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