Walters maintains lead on day two of Queensland Open
BY iseekgolf.com | Von Nida Tour | 2003 Queensland Open | Round Two | 31 Oct 2003
A successful weight loss and fitness programme – and two par shattering rounds – has helped steer a new look Euan Walters to the top of the leader board in the Q.L.D. Group Queensland Open Golf Championship at Ipswich.
The 32-year-old from Melbourne today added a 64 to his opening 66 to be at 14 under par and smiling at the fact that many contemporaries on the tour are not recognising his slimmer look.
“I’ve lost 40kg in nine months and dropped from 126kg to 90 in the last three months,” Walters said.
His weight loss matches his scoring exploits. In the opening round, his 66 matched the course record and left him as joint overnight leader with Don Fardon (QLD). Today, his 64 equalled two other players who finished eight under par but was not good enough to give him the new record.
That honour went to a jet-lagged Gold Coaster, Stuart Bouvier who turned in a birdie blitz 63, half an hour after 23 year old Kiwi Ben Gallie had returned a 65.
Walters, Chris Downes (QLD) and Matthew Millar (NSW) all came in within an hour but were too late to claim a place on the course record honour board. Walters said he had been inspired to do something about his weight and his golf by an American golf book given to him by a friend a year ago.
After his first day round, he went back to a friend’s home on the Gold Coast home and spent a couple of hours with his weights and gymnastics equipment.
He said his programme after today’s round would be an hour of aerobic exercises to prepare for the last 36 holes of the championship.
Bouvier, 34, admitted he had played the first two days of the tournament on “auto pilot” after spending 53 hours en route from the USA to reach Brisbane. He managed a comfortable, one under par 71 on the opening day and came good with a bogey-free, nine birdie run today to move into equal fourth position.
“I was driving well and that set me up on most holes,” Bouvier said.
He was also able to relax knowing that he had passed the first stage of the US Tour School and would be going back for the second stage within the next two weeks.
Promising young Queenslander Chris Downes, from Redcliffe, birdied the final hole to put himself into equal second position behind Walters.
“I haven’t had a bogey in 36 holes and I was pleased with the way I drove. I set myself up for a lot of opportunities,” he said.
Downes, who was described as potentially Australia’s greatest player by the legendary Norman von Nida only two weeks ago, said he was not thinking about the endorsement.
“I am through to the final stage of the US Tour School and I plan to play in the Australian Open in December,” he said.
Downes, in only his second year on the professional tour, said his ninth place on the Australian rankings was also helping his approach to the game at the moment.
Joint overnight leader Don Fardon, continued his good form with a 67 to go with his first day 66 and equal second place with Downes. The 41 year old who is playing his first tournament in almost five years, is now poised to improve his chances of qualifying for the Australian Open at Moonah Links if he can finish first at Ipswich.
In more difficult conditions in the afternoon session, good scoring was limited to a handful of players, with Indooroopilly amateur Ben Bloomfield scoring a career best 65 to make the cut for the first time in a professional tournament.
“I eagled the last hole last year and missed out by a shot so this makes up for it,” the 22 year old Bloomfield said. “I managed to eagle the sixth on both days this time and that put me five under par. This time I managed to keep it together and get in a good score.”
Bloomfield will find himself in unfamiliar territory tomorrow, hitting off in the second top group in sixth position in only his second professional tournament.
Gold Coast amateur Rowan Beste and Sweden’s Jens Nilsson both returned 66 – enough to allow Beste to make the cut for the second year in a row but Nilsson missed by one shot.
Beste, who plays at The Colonial course at Robina on the Gold Coast and works nights as a pizza shop manager to support his golf, said he was hoping for a solid finish to help his plans to turn professional.
Source – QLD PGA