December 12, Gold Coast - Scott Strange hit a second round 66 to join Wade Ormsby on nine-under par at the top of the leaderboard of the Australian PGA Championship on Friday at the RACV Royal Pines Resort, with defending champion Adam Scott two shots further back going into the weekend.
Former OneAsia Order of Merit winner Strange claimed a birdie at his final hole – the ninth – to complete a bogey-free round and draw level with Ormsby after 36 holes.
Ormsby carded a five-under par 67 while 2013 Masters champion Scott was three-under for the day and sits in third, one clear of overnight leader Boo Weekley, who carded a 72 to remain on six-under.
The tournament is the season-ending event on OneAsia and the PGA Tour of Australasia.
“I played nice today,” said Strange, who has recorded just one bogey in his opening two rounds.
“I think we got the right side of the draw with the storms and that rolling in yesterday and this morning with the rain. So I took advantage of it and played nice today.”
Ormsby started off by bogeying his first hole of the day – the par-four 10th – before chipping in from the edge of the green at the 12th on a run that saw him pick up six shots over six holes and move to nine-under after a four-under par opening round.
“I made a weak bogey at 10, then I chipped in on 12 and made an eagle there and that really got me going and made four in row around the back nine and I got pretty hot,” said Ormsby, who finished tied for fourth at the Turkish Open last month. “The wind was a bit tricky out there.
“I started the year well, and then went a bit flat in the middle of the year. I was making a lot of cuts but not really doing much with it, so I really wanted to finish the year on a high and I did that in Turkey, and the week before and the week after.
“When I came back for the Australian Open, I was a little bit flat from all the travelling. I thought I could get the job done but I just wasn’t feeling good. I was pretty disappointing there, but I wanted to finish this week on a high, so I did some practicing over the last week and so far, so good.”
Almost half the field turned out in the early hours of the morning to complete their opening round on Friday after inclement weather forced an early finish on Thursday and Jeong Jin finished as the first round leader.
The Korean golfer was four-under par after 12 holes when he resumed, going on to finish on seven-under after a round of 65 to lead by one over Weekley.
Jeong continued his strong form at the first hole of his second round with a birdie to move to eight-under before dropping shots at the 12th and 13th holes while bogeys at the first, second and sixth threatened to derail a round that was salvaged by a birdie-birdie finish that left him on five-under par and in a tie for fifth.
“I had a good start on 10, made a good birdie out of the rough and then some really heavy rain came through on the 11th hole,” said Jeong.
“There were really tough conditions and I started hitting a little bit off the line and made some silly mistakes and a few bogeys. I didn’t putt badly, but they weren’t going in, but I finished birdie-birdie so it wasn’t bad at all and I put myself in a good position. I don’t think it’s bad at all.”
Rory Hie from Indonesia completed the second round in the same fashion as the first round with 3 birdies and 2 bogeys. Currently he is in a tie for 24th at 2-under par.
Leading scores after second round of the Australian PGA Championship (Par 72):
135 - Wade ORMSBY (AUS) 68-67, Scott STRANGE (AUS) 69-66
137 - Adam SCOTT (AUS) 68-69
138 - Boo WEEKLEY (USA) 66-72
139 - Nick CULLEN (AUS) 68-71, JEONG Jin (KOR) 65-74, Kristopher MUECK (AUS) 71-68, David SMAIL (NZL) 68-71, Jason SCRIVENER (AUS) 73-66, Craig HANCOCK (AUS) 68-71
142 - Rory HIE (INA) 71-71