National Squad member Ryan McCarthy.
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National Squad member Ryan McCarthy (TAS) fired a 3-under par 67 at CommonGround Golf Club in Colorado to be the best placed Aussie after the opening round of Stroke Play Qualifying at the US Amateur Championship.
McCarthy, who was a quarter finalist at the 2010 US Amateur, is four strokes behind Alabama's Bobby Wyatt who fired a 7-under par 64 at the nearby Cherry Hills Country Club in windy conditions.
Golf Australia High Performance Director Brad James, who is in Colorado, said conditions were very tough in the afternoon.
"It was really calm here until about 1pm and a massive breeze kicked up and lasted about 3 hours. It made it so tough out there," James said.
"There are scoring opportunities at CommonGround but Cherry Hills is just a big brute of a course. Given the conditions, I'm blown away by how low some of the numbers are."
Queensland's Cameron Smith finished with a 6-over par 77 in trying conditions.
"Cameron played really well but teed off right in the middle of that horrendous wind and it's (the course) playing tough enough already without the weather."
"Part of the challenge here is adjusting to the altitude and what that means for your ball flight. Cameron hit a 5 wood which caught a bunker 330 yards away," James added.
Brett Drewitt (NSW) is in a tie for 32nd place following his 1-under par 69 at CommonGround while Matt Stieger (NSW) finished at even par at Cherry Hills (T46.)
Oliver Goss (WA) and Daniel Nisbet are both tied in 64th place at 1-over par.
The second round of qualifying will be played tonight (AEST) with the top 64 players to progress to the Match Play stage.
R.McCarthy -3 (T9)
B.Drewitt -1 (T32)
M.Stieger E (T46)
O.Goss +1 (T64)
D.Nisbet +1 (T64)
T.Sinnott +2 (T84)
R.Bourke +3 (T119)
J.Higginbottom +5 (T184)
C.Smith +6 (T207)