Payne overtakes Jager at Lake Macquarie
BY Anthony Powter | Australian Mens Amateur Tour | 2009 Lake Macquarie Amateur | Round Two | 23 Jan 2009
Robert Payne, a former NSW Amateur Champion, was able to take advantage of an early tee time and favourable light conditions to move on the rest of the field with a 6-under-par, 66, and take a two stroke lead going into the third round of the Lake Macquarie Amateur at Belmont Golf Club.
Payne won the 2001 NSW Amateur Championship and is considered by many to be a seasoned amateur having played top-line state amateur golf for over twenty years including stints in Newcastle, Sydney and his current base at Duntry League at Orange.
During today’s second round Payne proved age is no barrier, as he overtook a field where the majority of competitors are half his age, to move to 9-under-par with rounds of 69-66 and be two strokes ahead of Switzerland’s, Arthur Gabella-Wenne.
Three players are tied for third at 6-under-par including Brendan Smith, England’s Charles Ford and Klye Grant from Mona Vale in Sydney.
Jager, the highest ranked world amateur competing this week at Belmont was unable to capitalise on his opening 67 and finished today with a 2-over-par, 74, in difficult afternoon conditions to slip back to six strokes behind the leader. Fellow National Squad member, Scott Arnold, also made his move with a second round 3-under-par, 69, to be at 2-under-par and be only four back from Payne.
“I’ve had seven birdies each day on this course and only one bad hole has cost me,” said the 2008 Riversdale Cup champion.
Arnold, as well as many of the top line amateurs, are experiencing problems with Belmont’s greens, which in places are uneven and make getting a roll with the ball difficult.
“The greens are a little unpredictable,” says Arnold.
“We all have to compete on the same layout, but at times it’s hard to know what your ball will do when you’re putting and that gets a little frustrating.”
Michael Smyth from The Australian continues his form in National Selection Trial events to move to be only four strokes from the leader after opening rounds of 70-69 to be at 5-under-par.
Smyth finished a creditable tied 3rd position at Belmont last year and last October the South Wales State representative was first round leader at the Federal Amateur after firing a superb 5-under-par 67. Smyth is due for a win at the National Trial level, and you’ll expect that he’ll make his challenge over the next two rounds. If his recent form is any indication, he may come through with his maiden win at his level, at it would be well deserved.
Daniel Beckmann is experiencing another fine tournament here in Belmont following his fine efforts last week at the NEC Master of the Amateurs where he fired a third round 3-under-par 69 for the day’s low round to secure a one stroke lead over American and world number two, Rickie Fowler, moving into the final round, before missing a two-man playoff by a stroke.
Beckmann, the 2007 Federal Amateur Champion, is presently at one-under-par, following rounds of 73-68 along with five others at tied 15th position, including Matt Jager.
The cut of 80 plus ties came in at 4-over-par.