Clark leads despite Sim's late surge
BY Bruce Young | Australasian PGA Tour | 2008 Australian Masters | Round Two | 28 Nov 2008
South African Tim Clark will take a one shot lead into the third round of the Sportsbet Masters but he has an interesting mix of the old and the new chasing him as he looks to secure a victory at his first ever event in Australia as a professional.
Clark was out early in the day in what were benign scoring conditions and while he did not take full advantage, missing several good opportunities, he did enough to consolidate his share of the first round lead. At the end of 36 holes he leads by one over New South Wales’ Anthony Summers and Western Australian golfer, Michael Sim.
Summers round was described earlier (Jason can you provide a link to that article) but Sim was amongst the last groups to finish in the cool late afternoon temperatures, his bogey free round of 66 highlighted and kick started by a holed bunker shot at his second hole of the day, the 11th hole of the Huntingdale layout.
“I missed out on a birdie at my first hole, the 10th, which was disappointing but when I holed the bunker shot at the second, it got things underway.”
Sim missed three months of this year as the L5 back injury that has plagued and interrupted his promising career in recent years worsened but the World’s leading amateur prior to turning professional is back somewhere near his best.
“I Monday qualified for the Frys.Com event in Phoenix a few weeks ago then finished 7th which got me a start at the Ginn Sur Mer event in Florida the following week where I finished 17th so I have been playing ok.”
“I had a good practice session with my coach David Milne earlier this week and felt good about the week. I played aggressively today – probably more then you need to be around here – and hit driver on a few holes where it is not always the done thing to do such as the 1st but it has paid off so far. I will continue to be aggressive over the weekend.”
Sim missed out at Stage Two qualifying for the PGA Tour but does have status on the Nationwide Tour via his money list position on the PGA Tour. A win this week would open up the option of a place in Europe but that is likely a long way from the 24 year old’s mind right now.
Seven players are in a share of fourth place at five under. Queenslanders Michael Wright and Rod Pampling, Victorian Robert Allenby, New South Wales’ Aaron Townsend, England’s David Horsey and Steve Webster and Wales’ Jamie Donaldson.
Horsey is an interesting challenger. He won twice on the Challenge Tour in Europe in 2008 and finished 5th in this event last year.
Danny Lee further consolidated his growing reputation when he led the amateurs at 4 under and following a bout of chickenpox last week in Hong Kong has bounced back. He is an outstanding talent.
This is anybody’s event to win. Eighteen players are within three shots of the lead and even those further back still have a genuine chance to do well.
The final 36 holes of the 30th Australian Masters promises to be a fitting finale to the event which is being played at Huntingdale for the last time in the immediate future.
Some will not get the chance to be part of it including John Daly who finished at 5 over and Stuart Appleby who was considered by many to be a good chance to win the event. Appleby finished at 4 over.