Martin's five shot lead in NZ (video)

BY PGA of Australia | Australasian PGA Tour | 2012 New Zealand PGA Pro-Am Championship | Round Two | 30 Mar 2012

Australian Andrew Martin has moved clear of the field on day two of the New Zealand PGA Pro-Am Championship in Queenstown.

Martin fired a blistering second round eight under par 64, to storm five shots clear of his nearest rivals at 13 under the card. He birdied five of his first six holes and finished off his round in style with another birdie at the par five ninth.

Martin leads over West Australian, Brody Ninyette, Tasmanian Clint Rice and New Zealander Mark Purser.

When Martin arrived at the course for his second round today he had seen evidence of what might be in store with excellent morning rounds from Ninyette and Purser. Both players had moved to 8 under par.

Just as he had yesterday, however, Martin began his day quickly this time with five birdies in six holes anmd at tha stage he had the lead at 10 under. He would go on to record his eight under par round.

The 27-year-old’s round is all the more remarkable, given he is struggling with a foot injury.

Martin is suffering from plantar fasciitis and a blister on the same foot is not helping the situation.

However, he says it didn’t bother him too much on course.

“The medical team’s done a good job – they strapped it up and I only really noticed it for the last five holes.”

Martin has tasted success before, winning the Australian Amateur Championships in 2004 but he is yet to win a tournament since turning pro in 2006.

However, he has had several top five finishes in events on the PGA Tour of Australasia, including a second placing in late February at the Queensland PGA Championship in Toowoomba.

He says that has given him plenty of confidence for this event

“Toowoomba was a big eye-opener that my game was there. I hit the shots I wanted to hit and just fell short with a couple of putts”.

Martin is looking forward to the new celebrity pro-am format for the final two rounds at The Hills.

He has a history of doing well in pro-ams but admits he has put too much pressure on himself in professional tournaments.

He says playing alongside an amateur over the weekend will be a welcome distraction.

“Bringing a bit of the pro-am stuff in is a bit more relaxed. It’s also good having my girlfriend Rachel on the bag – it’s only her first couple of times caddying so I’m worrying about her going in the right spots”.

A win in Queenstown will set Martin up for the year. He has his eye on US PGA Tour School in September but is also conscious of earning enough money to retain his card on the PGA Tour of Australasia.

“If I can have enough money up or a win before September, that just frees me up so I can focus on Tour School”.

Martin wasn’t the only player tearing up the course on day two.

South Korean born Melbourne based, Jin Jeong stormed into the top 10 at six under par with a sensational 10-under-par 62.

He now shares the course record with Australian Peter Fowler who set the benchmark at the Michael Hill New Zealand Open in 2007.

Australian Andrew Kelly also got in on the act with the two best shots of the day.

Kelly holed out with an eight iron from the fairway for an eagle at the par four sixth hole and then upstaged himself with an ace at the par three 10th.

Sadly for the 24-year-old Victorian, the hole-in-one prize of a brand new BMW 3 Series Sedan 335i only applies at the weekend.

The 62 professionals who have made the cut will now be paired up with an amateur for the third round tomorrow, as the tournament enters the new celebrity Pro-Am format for the first time in history.

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