BENDIGO golfer Andrew Martin is in contention after day one of the International Final Qualifying for this year’s British Open.
Martin fired a one-under par 71 in yesterday’s first round of the two-day event at Kingston Heath in Melbourne.
He is four shots behind joint leaders Stephen Dartnall and amateur Cameron Smith.
Rounding out the top five on three-under the card are Victorian’s Peter Wilson, David McKenzie, Anthony Brown, Scott Laycock, Matthew Griffin and New Zealand’s Ryan Fox.
Martin was one of just 26 players out of the field of 72 to break par yesterday.
“I’d love to qualify, but this tournament is as much about trying to play myself into some form,’’ Martin said last night.
“I’m starting to get back into my routines and I felt as though I hit the ball well today.
“The good thing is I made less mistakes today and, hopefully, there’ll be fewer again tomorrow.”
Martin will tee off alongside Rohan Blizard and last week’s Heritage Classic winner David Bransdon at 8.14am in today’s second round.
“The greens are pretty soft, particularly for Kingston Heath standard,’’ Martin said.
“I’ve just got to be patient and try make some putts.
“If you can get on a roll there’s planty of birdies to be made out there.”
The top three players will earn a place in The Open Championship to be played at Muirfield in July.