Paddison and Tait share Victorian Open lead
BY iseekgolf.com | Von Nida Tour | 2004 Victorian Open | Round Two | 24 Jan 2004
New Zealand professional Gareth Paddison and Queenslander Shane Tait share the lead at the 2004 Mitsubishi Motors Victorian Open following the second round played at the Woodlands Golf Club today.
The 23-year-old Kiwi fired a second round of six-under 66 while the 33-year-old Brisbane professional returned a splendid five-under 67 in blustery afternoon conditions to be locked together on a two round total of seven-under 137.
New South Welshman Paul Sheehan is in second position on six-under 138 after a second successive round of 69. One stroke further back on 139 are local professional and Woodlands member Michael Light, Queensland professional Wayne Perske and Western Australian Dean Alaban. Perske moved into contention thanks to a second round 68 while Light an Alaban each fired 67.
With overcast skies and the gentlest of southerly breezes greeting morning players, the course was ripe for good scoring. Beginning on the 1st, Paddison birdied the par five 6th to go out in 35 before coming home in 31 including three birdies on the 12th, 13th and 16th and a dazzling eagle on the par five final hole.
“My second shot was a two-iron from 215 metres which ran onto the back edge of the green. I holed out for a great way to finish” he said.
After a successful amateur career for New Zealand including Eisenhower Cup representation and a Canadian Amateur title, Paddison turned professional in 2001 and has enjoyed a steady start in the pay for pay ranks.
“I won the Scenic Circle Classic in Dunedin in 2002 and am looking forward to playing Challenge Tour and some full Tour events in Europe this year. I’ve also got starts at the Heineken and ANZ Championship” Paddison said.
Despite never having played the course, Paddison likes what he sees commenting that “I’m very happy with the course and how I’ve played, particularly in holing some good putts.”
Tait, who hails from Greg Norman’s original club of Virginia, played his way into contention in the more difficult afternoon conditions thanks mainly to a change of strategy. “I took the course on today. I hit driver off every par four and five except the third. I hit it great and on many holes was left with short approaches” he commented after the round.
With five birdies and a closing eagle thanks to a three-iron approach to within two-metres, Tait can now challenge for his maiden professional victory in Australia.
Sixty players, including five amateurs with two-round totals of three-over par 147 or better survived the 36-hole cut. Despite twenty-two amateurs making the starting field for the event, only David Walker (142), Kane Streat (145), Marc Leishman (146), fifteen year-old Tim Dugdale (146) and Andrew Tampion (147) have lasted to the final day. Given that Victoria is the current holder of both the National State and Colts teams titles, this was a slightly surprising result.
Notable players to miss the cut included New South Wales professional Brendan Jones who fired a second round 79 to finish at six-over, former winners Ian Stanley and Mike Clayton and pre-tournament favourite Chris Downes who followed an opening 77 with a 78.
Play in the final round of the 2004 Mitsubishi Motors Victorian Open will commence at Woodlands Golf Club from both the 1st and 10th tees at 10.00am. The leading trio of Paddison, Tait and Sheehan will hit-off from the 1st tee at 11.30am. With fine and mild conditions expected and fifteen players within five strokes of the lead, an exciting conclusion to the 45th playing of this traditional title is certain.
Source – VGA