Lonard, Sabbatini hit the lead at PGA
BY Bruce Young | Australasian PGA Tour | 2007 Australian PGA Championship | Round Two | 07 Dec 2007
The likely favourites for victory at this week’s Cadbury Schweppes Australian PGA Championship at Hyatt Regency Coolum made their move on day two and as the morning field completed their second rounds it was two time winner, Peter Lonard and South African Rory Sabbatini, who led the way at 9 under.
Lonard started at 7.35am and made an immediate impact when he joined overnight leader Michael Sim in the lead at 7 under with a birdie at his first hole, the par four 10th from 5 feet. Lonard dropped his first shot in nearly two years at this golf course when he bogeyed the 11th after not committing to an aggressive line at the dangerous 11th but added five more birdies and two bogeys to finish at 9 under and in a share of the lead with his playing partner Sabbatini.
“I did not play all that well from the turn to be honest but I am happy enough with my score.”
Sabbatini picked up two early birdies in the first four holes, turned in 34 and then recorded three more birdies in his inward nine of 33 for a round of 67 and the tournament’s second highest ranked player and highest paid invitee was providing good ‘bang for the buck’.
The outspoken South African was off to Australia Zoo this afternoon to spend time at the Steve Irwin masterpiece but tomorrow it will be Sabbatini, who is the focus of attention as it is likely his 9 under total will stand the test of time as the breezes increase and the course dries out even further.
Ahead on the golf course, the Victorian Cameron Percy, who graduated to the final stage of the recent USPGA Tour School only to miss out on gaining his card, was making an early move. After being forced to play with replacement clubs in round one after his own had gone missing in transit from Florida, Percy bogeyed the first but recorded a total of nine birdies in his round of 66 to be at eight under and one behind.
Percy now has conditional status on the Nationwide Tour and will take up that option in 2008. Percy has played on the Von Nida Tour and remained in Australia in the last couple of years and has had some success, much of it in Queensland where he has won two Von Nida Tour events.
As this trio completed their media commitments, overnight leader, Michael Sim, headed out on his mission to reel in the leaders. An eagle at the 12th (his 3rd) from lengthy range had him sharing the lead briefly before two bogeys saw him at seven under through six holes of his second round.
The cut score is looking to be one under but afternoon seas breezes might yet see it move to 1 over.