FORMER Port Macquarie Pro Am winner Dimi Papadatos has some work to do when the tournament heads into day two on Wednesday.
Late on Tuesday afternoon, Papadatos was six shots behind the leader.
He will have to shoot the lights out on Wednesday to make a late charge at the title after he had a less-than-ideal first-round performance on a day where conditions were perfect.
He won the event three years ago, but he knows he has it all to do to replicate that success.
“I wanted to be as close to the leaders as possible after the first day, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen,” he said.
“I was one over with five holes to play.”
On the 18th hole, Papadatos appeared certain to sink a long-range putt, but it refused to drop in.
It summed up his whole day.
Papadatos won the Victorian Open in February so he knows what it takes to turn around a poor day.
The 26-year-old is currently situated just inside the top 1000 players in the world, but had to overcome a shank on the opening day in Victoria.
It showed he was mentally tough to overcome that hiccup and he will need every bit of that mental toughness to overcome a slow start on Tuesday.
Mitch Brown led the morning field in Port Macquarie with a round of 67, followed by South West Rocks golfer Jamie Hook and Jordan Zanic (68) and Jason King (69).
“I wasn’t hitting them great right from the start,” Papadatos said.
Port Macquarie golfer Tom Biron was in the same group as Papadatos and he finished with a round of 75.\
Former professional and local golfer Josh Main finished with a round of 76.
Seven players completed their rounds under par in the morning session.
“It’s always good to come back to Port Macquarie,” Papadatos said.
The action starts again on Wednesday morning at the Port Macquarie Golf Club.