Australian Andrew Dodt during round one of the Australian PGA Championship at Royal Pines on the Gold Coast.
Australian Andrew Dodt during round one of the Australian PGA Championship at Royal Pines on the Gold Coast. DAN PELED

Mind over matter as Dodt takes lead at PGA

GOLF: Andrew Dodt has struggled with his game this season, so much so that the Queenslander has missed the cut in 14 out of 21 tournaments on the European Tour.

The 30-year-old even had thoughts about quitting before seeing a sports psychologist to deal with the issues that had led to him posting just one win in the past six years on the European Tour.

But he was the clubhouse leader at Royal Pines after the first round of the Australian PGA on the Gold Coast.

Dodt said the "turning point” was contacting sports psychologist Andrea Furst, who he first met at the Queensland Academy of Sport.

"I just haven't been playing the game as well as I should,” Dodt said.

"I felt like I needed to do something.

"So, I got in touch with her, probably in about July/August. We've been sort of working away since then and, yeah, I feel like over the last month or so I've maybe turned the corner, if you like.”

Dodt had never played the Gold Coast course before but struck five birdies on his final nine holes for a seven-under par round.

"I wanted to hit the ground running for the 2017 season, hole one, shot one, and I managed to do that today,” he said.

"I hit it really well, putted really well. It was just a really solid run.

"Tom, my caddy, and I said probably maybe 10-under at the start of the week (after round two), so it's nice to be seven-under after round one.”

Adam Scott, meanwhile, said three birdies on his final three holes might be the catalyst to turn around his poor form on home soil.

"That momentum after the last three holes is something to carry over for the rest of the week,” he said.

"It was nice to finish strong because I generally think I'm playing better than what I've scored with.”

Scott, who shot four-under, said he was taking a different approach to the rest of his time in Australia.

"It's the last week of the year,” he said.

"There's no 'I will get them next week' - I just have to make it count.

"It didn't look pretty at the start but somehow I was two-under after three and then hung in there and finished well.”