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Young amateur Coletta leads NSW Open golf

AAP logoAAP 10/11/2016 Darren Walton

Still stinging from narrowly missing a dream ticket to Augusta, exciting young amateur Brett Coletta has continued his hot start to the Australian summer to seize the first-round lead of the NSW Open in Sydney.

Coletta fired a course-record-equalling 10-under-par 62 on Thursday to leave some of the biggest names in Australian golf trailing in his wake.

The 20-year-old reeled off eight birdies and an eagle on the par-5 15th hole at Stonecutters Ridge in a bold opening to his bid to back up his Queensland Open triumph with a second state championship in three weeks.

"It was all a bit of a blur to start. All of a sudden, I was seven under through nine," Coletta said.

"I played nearly almost flawless golf out there."

On this occasion, it was a score to match the record set last year by Rohan Blizard and Aaron Wilkin.

Coletta's Queensland Open victory came a week after he missed a birdie putt on the final hole of the Asia Pacific Amateur event in Korea that would have secured him a start at the Masters next April.

"It's the ultimate goal to play in a major. It's definitely going to sting but, hopefully, I get there one day in the near future," he said after Thursday's round.

Coletta turned down a cheque for $16,500 in Brisbane and will again resist the temptation - and a further $72,000 cash - to turn professional even if he wins again on Sunday.

"It's a big decision, one that you only make once. I didn't take it lightly," said the level-headed youngster.

"The money is a thought. I know I can do it now; I can win on this tour, but it's just one of those things I will worry about when it comes.

"I was excited by winning and that could have an impact, but I am looking down the path a bit further - I didn't want to make a rash decision."

Coletta also would have earned exemption to the PGA Tour of Australasia had he turned pro.

"But from March through to September, it's the off season here and that's the time I want to be playing," he said.

"I will have a full calendar in the middle of next year as an amateur and I will get adequate Pro starts on the Asian Tour via the Asian Amateur, and I am through to the final stage of British Open qualifying as well."

Coletta was among a raft of morning starters who cashed in on perfect scoring conditions to upstage the likes of dual Australian Open champions Robert Allenby and Peter Senior.

Rory Bourke and David Bransdon both shot 63s to be one shot off the lead, while Anthony Houston and Matthew Millar are two back after signing off for eight-under 64s.

Allenby, who lost his US Tour card after a dismal 2016 season in America, opened with a two-under 70 to find himself eight strokes adrift of Coletta.

Senior returned an even-par 72.

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