Lambert makes dream start to pro career
BY Bruce Young | Von Nida Tour | 2006 Queensland Open | Round Two | 27 Oct 2006
As had been the case in round one of the Roadcon Group Queensland Open, it was a player from the morning field who would retain the lead throughout day two and as play drew to a close it would be the 23-year-old New South Welshman, Tristan Lambert, playing in his very first event as a professional, who would take the thirty six hole honours.
Tristan Lambert Interview
Lambert was out at 7.20 today and although he faltered early with a three putt bogey at his second hole, he immediately got things back on track and finished with a round of 67 to go with his opening 65 and has a one shot lead over first round leader, Luke Hickmott, heading into the weekend.
“I drove the ball really well and putted well which are especially important around here,” said Lambert, who only got into the tournament via qualifying on Monday. “I had hoped to get an invite but I eventually went through qualifying and made it into the field. To be honest leading this event after two rounds in my first start as a professional is a dream come true.”
Luke Hickmott, who had led by three after round one, did not have quite the same success on the greens today. “It was tough day,” he said later. “I didn’t play so well but got away with it to some extent. I certainly didn’t hole the putts today as I had done yesterday but I actually drove the ball reasonably well. I got a few bad breaks with some of the lies I had but overall I am very happy to be where I am and am really looking forward to tomorrow.”
At ten under and just two shots behind the leader are Ricky Schmidt and Ryan Haller who have both had two identical rounds of 67 and are well positioned. Haller has become known as a prolific pro-am winner but with the odd exception has not yet stepped his game up to the next level in four round events. This is a genuine opportunity for him to take out his most significant title to date and perhaps get that monkey off his back.
34-year-old Schmidt, who spends some of the year giving lessons on the Central Coast of New South Wales, has a chance to continue his love affair with Queensland. “I have played well up here in the past and seem to enjoy the Bermuda greens,” he said. “I certainly didn’t initially but now, understanding them so much better, I feel very confident on them.” Schmidt finished fourth at the recent Cairns Classic suggesting he is not out of this.
Adam Blyth stands at 9 under and is within three of the lead. Blyth has a proven track record at the Ipswich Golf Club winning several amateur events here and twice recording top fives in previous Queensland Opens at this course. “It was tough out there this afternoon but I feel I am well placed and am looking forward to the weekend,” said the tall Queenslander. Blyth has recorded several good finishes in Asia in the two seasons he has been playing the Asian Tour and, as a much more seasoned golfer than he has been when contending previously at this course, he could well be the dark horse for the title.
Peter Senior has been going about his business slowly over the first two days but he might yet be the man to beat on Sunday. Twelve months ago he was essentially the only golfer to apply any late pressure to the eventual winner with a closing round of 65 which would see him finish in second place behind Brad McIntosh.
A repeat of that performance might yet see him reduce what appears at this stage to be a significant deficit. The lack of winning experience in professional tournament golf amongst the current leaders could well leave the door open for one of Australia’s most successful and experienced golfers to win the event for the second time, some 22 years after his first.
Local Brisbane golfer, Nathan Uebergang, and Victorian, Ashley Hall, lead the race for amateur honours at this stage although previous Queensland Amateur Champion, Paul Donahoo and Australian representative, Andrew Dodt, are right on their heels.
The cut has fallen at one under par with 61 players, made up of 50 professionals and 11 amateurs, getting a start at the weekend.