Leaney finds form at Jeep Pro Am
BY Bruce Young | 30 Aug 2013
West Australian Stephen Leaney has produced a second round of 65 at the Jeep Pro Am at Royal Pines on the Gold Coast to take the halfway lead in the A$200,000 event.
Leaney, who in 2003 finished runner-up to Jim Furyk at the US Open and moved to 23rd in the world when doing so, is now outside the top 1000 in world ranking, but sits at 11 under par for 36 holes to date this week and one ahead of Canberra’s Matthew Millar and Victorian David McKenzie while a further four professionals are in a tie for fourth two shots behind the lead.
“I have played pretty solid over the first two rounds without doing anything special though it was nice to see a few putts go in today. It is my first time at Royal Pines and with the PGA Championship later this year, I am confident that the course will be a good representation of what our national championship should be” said Leaney.
The round of the day though came from Victorian David McKenzie who recorded nine birdies and nine pars to shoot 63 and sit just one behind Leaney. McKenzie produced the best last round of the day during last week’s Queensland Open Championship and is clearly in good form.
“I got off to a hot start making birdie on five of my first seven holes which was nice and despite the breeze getting up late in the round, it was nice to keep it going," said McKenzie. "My game has been a little up and down this year especially after my win at the Victorian PGA in January, although I feel it is coming together at the right time of the year and it would be nice to be in contention come Sunday afternoon.”
The leaderboard is still remarkably bunched with almost half of the field within seven shots of the lead. The likes of Australian PGA Championship runner-up, Anthony Brown, Leigh McKechnie and last week’s Queensland Open winner Nick Cullen all in the mix heading into the weekend.
Cullen who has had success at Royal Pines previously recorded a round of 67 today to move to within five shots of the lead with 36 holes to play.