Fulke, Barnes share Victorian Open lead
BY iseekgolf.com | Von Nida Tour | 2005 Victorian Open | Round Two | 29 Jan 2005
Sweden’s Pierre Fulke and New South Welshman Kurt Barnes share the lead at 11-under-par after the second round of the 2005 Mitsubishi Motors Victorian Open played at the Woodlands Golf Club today.
A group of three players are two strokes in arrears at nine-under with South Australian Nigel Spence, New South Welshman Nathan Green and Queenslander Marcus Cain all returning two-round totals of 135. Victorian professional Michael Curtain is one stroke further back at eight-under after a steady second round of 70.
On an overcast, cool day with the gentlest of southerly breezes, conditions were perfect for low scoring. Beginning the day at six-under, the son of a Swedish National swimming Champion ran hot from the start with birdies with four straight birdies on his opening four holes.
Despite dropping a shot on the 168-metre par three fifth, Fulke bounced straight back with another birdie on the par five sixth. A further birdie at the difficult par three eighth and a par on the ninth saw the former runner-up of the WGC-Accenture World Match Play go out in 31.
After his opening nine barrage, Fulke played steady golf over the inward nine following a dropped stroke at the 10th. A closing birdie four on the 18th saw the 33-year-old finish with a 67 for a two round total of 133. A three-time winner on the European Tour, the Swede is now well placed to join many other famous names on the Vic Open Trophy.
Asked about his appearance at the Vic Open when there was a million dollar European Tournament on in Singapore he said “I have played Woodlands before and really like the course and this is the perfect warm up for the Heineken at Royal Melbourne next week.”
Fulke’s playing partner, Victorian state representative David Walker said “Pierre was a delight to play with, he is a very neat and strategic golfer and I learnt a lot out there from him today.”
First round leader Barnes also produced a polished second round performance with a four-under 68 to follow his opening day 66. A steady opening nine that saw three birdies over the first eight holes was only marred by bogey at the 409-metre ninth. A back nine that saw obligatory birdies at the par five 14th and 18th holes and pars elsewhere consolidated the 2002 Australian Amateur Champion’s position at the top of the leader board.
Having turned pro in 2003, Barnes is already familiar with this position after taking out last year’s Queensland PGA and finishing fifth in the 2004 Australian Open.
“My game has matured a lot in the past twelve months and I have stuck to my game plan for the past two days and only had two bogeys, which is good on a course as tight as Woodlands” said Barnes.
He also commented on the support for the Open from European Tour professionals Fulke, Green and Mosley, “I’ve played with Pierre before and he is a top player and I only hope I’m paired with him tomorrow in the final round, he has added some real class to a very good field on a very good course.”
Tennis star turned golf professional Scott Draper enjoyed an improved second round returning a two-over 74 but missed the cut after an opening 79.
Best round of the day came via an equal course record of seven-under 65 from Victorian professional Matthew Milne who made up considerable ground after an opening 74. Further low scores were 66’s from David Diaz , Matthew Miller, Brad McIntosh and Marcus Cain while other notable efforts came from reigning US Amateur Champion Nick Flanagan and Brad Andrews with 67’s.
The cut for the fifty leading scores plus ties was set at even-par 144. Just three amateurs survived to the final day headed by Victorian Colts Team member Ashley Hall from Huntingdale on three-under after a second round of 68. Victoria’s Matthew Griffin and Steve Symons from Curlewis were only other lilywhites to survive.
The final round of the 2005 Mitsubishi Motors Victorian Open will be played at Woodlands on Sunday January 30th. All gate receipts from the event are being donated to the Tsunami appeal with entry fees $5 for adults while children under 16 are free.
Source – Golf Victoria