Five way tie atop QLD Open Leaderboard
BY Bruce Young | Australasian PGA Tour | 2013 Isuzu Queensland Open | Round Two | 23 Aug 2013
Five players lead the Queensland Open Golf Championship at the halfway mark but after 17 players had broken par on day one, today only nine were able to do so at the demanding Brookwater Golf Club and at the completion of 36 holes only six players are under par.
Brisbane based Korean Lee Jun Seok, New Zealander Peter Zwart, New South Welshman Peter O’Malley, Queenslander Marcus Cain and joint first round leader have a share of halfway lead, with New Zealander Ryan Fox one shot behind.
The conditions early on day two were perfect but by mid morning the breeze, which would later turn to gusty winds, kicked in and scores began to soar.
First round leaders Josh Younger and Thomas Bond had 75 and 80 respectively but for Younger, while his round paled in comparison to his brilliant effort yesterday, he still has a share of the lead.
Lee, moved to Australia about ten years ago to develop his golf game and his grasp of the English language. He has put together a few good finishes in OneAsia and PGA Tour of Australasia events this season and is clearly a player of some ability. He gained his PGA Tour of Australasia Tour status at the Q School late last year.
Peter O’Malley is the most credentialed player in the field with numerous wins in Europe and Australasia to his credit including the Scottish and English Opens on the European Tour and is the only player ever to have won the New Zealand Open, the New Zealand Amateur and the New Zealand PGA Championships.
Despite essentially playing only part time now, O’Malley’s great class and craftsmanship was evident today.
O’Malley appeared to be heading for the outright lead before a double bogey at the par five 13th cost him that opportunity.
“Visually this place suits my eye, it’s not a course where you do think you will make a lot of birdies so you just have to minimise the mistakes,” said O’Malley.
“It’s a course where length is not a huge advantage – we go to some courses these days and I know that I can’t contend."
Zwart has played the Sunshine Tour through regional Queensland this season with some success and has positioned himself for his greatest test yet over the remaining 36 holes.
Queenslander Cain was a player good enough to have won the Tour Championship event in Canberra in the late 1990’s and although not really following on from that great start to his professional career has managed to forge out a living at the game.
Victorian Younger has won the occasional lesser event but this weekend presents an opportunity to secure a more significant title. Younger began the day sharing the lead but despite struggling through much of his round managed to hold on to share the lead.
Fox had seven birdies in his opening round of 69 yesterday but like so many others it was a different story today as he battled to a round of 74. At 1 under however he is just one from the lead and threatening.
Two players at even par are certainly worth a mention. The leading world ranked player in the field and current New Zealand Open Champion, Jake Higginbottom, produced the round of the day (68) to leap from obscurity to contention.
The still only 19 year old appeared to be heading for something even better when he stood on the par five 17th at 5 under for the day and looking at another birdie. It was an incredible score given the conditions but even though he dropped a shot there his round was nonetheless very impressive.
He could well justify his ranking with a victory this weekend.
Queenslander and Australian Amateur Champion, Cameron Smith, who only turned professional a month ago, added a second consecutive 72 to be at even par and will no doubt be a crowd favourite over the weekend.
Leading the amateur race at present are Victorian teenager, Lucas Herbert, and Queenslander Simon Viitakangas.
With 30 players within five shots of the lead however this event remains wide open and if the dry weather remains as it is expected to do then the Brookwater layout may well get even tougher suggesting a score around even par may well be good enough to take the first Queensland Open in six years.
The cut eventually fell at 7 over par, the weekend field also to include eight amateurs and so 64 golfers will play the weekend.