Moonah Links a different proposition on day two

BY Bruce Young | Australasian PGA Tour | 2005 Australian Open | Round Two | 25 Nov 2005
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As day two dawned at the MFS Australian Open at Moonah Links, it was clear, even early, that this was going to be a day very different to that which the players had experienced on day one. The breeze that was noticeable by its absence, especially early, on Thursday was back and although not much more than a zephyr early on it was enough to indicate that scoring on day two would be a much different proposition.

Those out early were those who had battled the afternoon conditions on day one and they might have felt a little hard done by given the advantage the early day one and late day two tee times appeared they might have.

Geoff Ogilvy, who had been nothing short of brilliant on day one when he recorded an afternoon round of 66, made a solid start with four pars before he double bogeyed the dangerous par three fifth. That hole had been one of the more demanding on day one, ranked the fourth most difficult, and early on day two it had claimed yet another victim. Ogilvy would bounce back with a birdie at the sixth but his early struggle further highlighted the greater degree of difficulty Moonah presented. Ogilvy’s front nine battles were further compounded by bogeys at the eight and ninth holes and as he headed to the tenth tee he stood at three under and in tenth place.

The only player who appeared to be handling things early amongst those in contention was the Victorian golfer Martin Doyle, who in this very event two years ago produced one of his more significant finishes in tournament golf when fourth behind Lonard. Doyle birdied the first two holes and climbed inside the top ten at three under. He made even further progress when he birdied the 7th to move to four under and into 6th place.

Scot Jack Doherty, who won the Australian Amateur Championship in 2004, was another to be moving in a forward direction. He birdied three of the first four holes and at two under through four holes he had moved inside the top twenty.

There were others further back in the field who had also made good starts but there were more that were struggling and a few horror stories also. The cut, which had looked overnight as if it might be made around the two or three under mark, began to look as if it might stretch out to four or five over.

As mid morning approached the breezes strengthened even further. The forecast had been for thunderstorms and strengthening winds and strengthen they did. By midday the winds were close to twenty kilometers and hour and as the first of the afternoon groups headed out they knew they were in for a battle. Spencer Levin, who yesterday held the lead and the Moonah Links course record for an hour or so, opened with two pars before a double at the third hole would prove costly.

Peter Lonard, who had been almost forgotten after his slow start yesterday, was keeping himself in the tournament with a typically Lonard grinding round. When he birdied the 16th he had moved to one under for the day and one over for the tournament and given that there was little likelihood of the afternoon group racing away from the field he was not yet completely out of it.

As the leader Robert Allenby hit his tee shot at the first he held a two shot lead over Scott Laycock with a further shot back to Adam Scott and Levin. Would he still hold the lead in five hours time and if so what would be the leading score was the question on most people’s mind.

Photo – Anthony Powter

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    About the Author: Bruce Young

    A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of the game comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.

    Read all of Bruce's articles »

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