But two of Queensland’s former amateur stars who both joined the pro ranks in 2021, Louis Dobbelaar and Jed Morgan, clearly had other ideas. So too Andrew Martin, James Grierson and Michael Wright who pulled up alongside Perry.

Morgan now sits level with Pike, while Dobbelaar holds the tournament lead on his own at Royal Queensland following a brilliant seven-under round of 64.

The 20-year-old navigated the front nine of the Mike Clayton designed layout as if out for a mid-week game with his mates, holing out for an eagle two at the 2nd hole from a little over 100 metres, before mixing four more birdies with one bogey to make the turn at five-under.

“It was fun,” he reflected after the round. “I think the round got kick started pretty quick after the hole out on the second hole.

Aaron Pike had the round of the morning and lies one back of Louis Dobbelaar. PHOTO: PGA Tour of Australasia.

“I wasn’t expecting it to land straight in, so that was pretty good to get the round kick started. Yeah, I had some good shots after that and got some momentum going.”

The momentum Dobbelaar created was in part due to his comfort with a course that many have identified as “tricky” and “quirky” throughout the early part of the week. Some home support from his fellow Queenslanders also pushing along the man who has Garry Kissick, the fiancé of Ash Barty, on his bag this week.

“I think when you’re on the right side of the pins, I think you’ve got a few more chances than short sided, so I just tried to keep myself on the right side of the hole and just trust my game after that,” Dobbelaar said of the course. “It’s good to be at home for an event.  After being away for so long, it’s good to hear some good Queenslanders around.”

Dobbelaar added two more birdies on a relatively uneventful back nine on Thursday, while Morgan had a more up-and-down day on his way to a 65 after taking a break from the game following a somewhat tough introduction to the play-for-pay ranks last year.

The 2020 Australian Amateur champion opened his PGA Championship account with a bogey at the first, before four birdies in five holes saw him head for home at three-under. An eagle at the short par-4 12th followed soon after only for one of the shots gained to be dropped at the very next hole. Birdies at 16 and 18 righting the ship for Morgan to finish level with Pike.

Royal Queensland member Jed Morgan sits in a share of second after 18 holes of the Australian PGA Championship. PHOTO: PGA Tour of Australasia.

“I started pretty ordinary. I was very nervous,” Royal Queensland member Morgan said. “Had a lot of support and I guess a bit of expectation on myself and I think a few people do as well, but I was pretty nervous trying to handle that first few holes.

“No, I’ll probably be just as nervous,” he added when asked of his nerves in round two. “I’m keen as mustard right now.”

Although not a member like Morgan, Pike is as close as you can get to being part of the Royal Queensland cohort in the field as possible given he lives nearby and plays the course regularly. A two-time winner on the PGA Tour of Australasia, Pike was quick to correct this scribe after the round for his omission from the ‘Players to Watch’ section of our preview of this event.

“I noticed the name Aaron Pike didn’t get a mention in the preview yesterday,” he joked after signing for his 65 that came without his best golf but on the back of course knowledge and good putting.

“I haven’t made any money yet, so it’s definitely something new to me. I think it’s probably a bit overwhelming at first when you haven’t really earnt much, so once I accepted that I think I can just keep on doing my stuff and just play golf after that.” - Louis Dobbelaar.

“Being a Brisbane boy, I’m pretty fortunate to get to play out here a bit and in terms of golf courses, this is one that really does suit my game. It does bode well for me, but you’ve also got to do it. I made some good par putts and realistically the one hole that I made bogey, I had to get up and down for bogey, because as this place does to you, if you put it in the wrong spot, it’ll just bite you, and it did there.”

Pike’s course knowledge was also helped by some recent distance gains he discussed with this publication when analysing his own swing in a recent print magazine issue.

Power is of course almost a necessity in the men’s professional game in the modern era, and the longest player in the field perhaps failed to capitalise on his, Min Woo Lee recording a scrappy three-under-par 68 playing alongside WPGA Championship leader Su Oh.

Lee, like many in the field will be reminding himself that you can’t win golf tournaments on Thursday, but you can certainly lose them. And with plenty of players bunched in red figures after day one, Dobbelaar knows he has his work cut out for him.

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The realisation that indeed playing golf is his work perhaps still coming for the Brookwater member who played today with the freedom of an amateur rather than a professional wondering when he next might cash a cheque.

“I haven’t made any money yet, so it’s definitely something new to me,” he said. “ I think it’s probably a bit overwhelming at first when you haven’t really earnt much, so once I accepted that I think I can just keep on doing my stuff and just play golf after that.”