Rain delays continue at Australian PGA

BY Bruce Young | Australasian PGA Tour | 2005 Australian PGA Championship | Round Two | 02 Dec 2005
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Well it was a matter of when, rather than if, play would be brought to a halt on day two of the Cadbury Schweppes PGA Championship and that decision was eventually made just before 5:00pm local Queensland time and when it happened the complications that he beset the tournament were increased further.

With all players having completed round one, only two having completed round two and still eighty to tee off in round two, the pressure was mounting on just how the PGA Tour could figure out a way to get a Sunday finish and seventy two holes completed. The forecast for the weekend is certainly much improved but even with a full run over the next two days it will be a case of playing catch up from this point on.

The two who completed their second round were Scott Draper and Anthony Brown who were so far from a potential cut line that they were keen to get finished. The other player in their group, Cameron Percy, made the decision to mark his ball on the last hole when play was called but at one over there was no need for haste.

As played was called, the 31-year-old Queenslander Matt Keegan led the field at five under along with Richard Swift who had finished his round several hours earlier and was likely at home safe in the knowledge that he would not be required until Saturday morning. Keegan has had considerable success on the Sunshine Tour in his home state but this year has ventured further afield to Asia. He won the first stage of qualifying there and gained full status on the Asian Tour but has missed retaining those privileges despite a third placed finish at an event in Brunei.

Keegan had a quick turnaround between his first and second rounds and in the increasingly damp conditions in late afternoon he managed to record two birdies in his first few holes of round two to join Swift in the lead.

Of the three players just one shot behind, namely Robert Allenby, Nathan Green and Mathew Goggin, none had begun round two and if conditions do improve as is predicted, then they may well get a lucky break. That remains to be seen.

The highest world ranked player in the field, the US Open Champion Michael Campbell, was at two under after having bogeyed his last hole of the day. He is through twenty seven holes and is very much within striking distance.

Craig Parry, somewhat of a course specialist here, still looks a major threat despite a last hole hiccup when he double bogeyed the tenth hole of his round. He had moved into the outright lead at six under during his morning round and finished with 68. On his return to the course he gain made a forward move when he birdied the par five fifteenth to get to five under and shared the lead at that point. He finished with a total of two under and has eight holes left to play tomorrow morning.

A runner up at this event in 2003 was Rod Pampling and he has again staked his claim for another good finish here by walking from the course at two under when play was called. That was despite a double bogey at his eight hole, the par four 17th, but he did birdie his last hole of the day to give him the chance to sleep easily before his 4:00am wake up call tomorrow. Like all those who have yet to complete their rounds, he will be required at the place where he marked his ball for a 5:30am start.

The defending champion, Peter Lonard, finished his round at three over after playing his last five holes in one under on his return to the course this morning. He has had the luxury of a long relaxing day with little prospect of him being required back at the course.

Nick O’Hern also, recovered from a slow start to play his back nine in 35 and at two over he is not out of it.

Much will depend on the weather gods over the next two days. The current plan is to complete round two tomorrow and then get as much of round three completed before the likely scenario of round three being finally completed on Sunday morning. The final round would then be played on Sunday afternoon. That is the best case scenario at this time and may still be a long shot.

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.

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