Queensland’s Corey Crawford handed in a bogey free 7-under 65 to claim a share of the lead with Damien Jordan and James Marchesani after round two at the SP Brewery PNG Open.
The blemish free round was the best score of the day and has Crawford currently in a three-way-tie in the lead at 8-under par.
“I stayed patient all day and didn’t really make any mistakes which is always helpful and that kept the bogeys off the scorecard,” Crawford said.
After scoring 1-under 70 in the opening round, Crawford said starting from the 10th hole today he was the benefactor of a lot more holes falling in his favour.
“Yesterday was a really tough grind, I wasn’t feeling great. But today things sort of fell my way, I did have a slow start but got things rolling on my back-9 (holes 1 to 9) which was great.
“The front-9 is definitely the scoring 9 but the back-9 still has plenty of birdies if you’re playing well.”
Fresh off a top-10 finish at the Morobe Open in Lae, the 24-year-old is happy with where his game is going in to the weekend rounds.
“I played nicely in Lae, I finished tied eighth and had 11-under so that definitely gave me some confidence coming in to this week and also gave me a week to get used to the conditions here.
“I’ll just stick to my game plan, it’s been working so far so I’ve got no expectations going in to the weekend, I just want to go out there and have some fun again.”
Damien Jordan checked in with 5-under 67 on his way to joining Crawford on top of the leaderboard at 8-under par.
“I played fairly solid on the front-9 then went around to the back and hit an eagle and a birdie which kept me going. I pared 17 and 18 which were pretty tough today,” Jordan said.
The reigning Victorian PGA Champion echoed the thoughts of many in the field when he said the tough greens at Royal Port Moresby require a lot of patience.
“You’ve got to have all of the patience in the world out here; it’s different to a lot of the Tour events we play but in the same token everybody’s got to play the same course.”
Round one leader James Marchesani (Vic) was only able to manage 1-under 71 but still sits on top of the leaderboard with Crawford and Jordan.
Another Queenslander in Tim Hart finished round two with 6-under 66 to reach outright fourth at 7-under par.
“It was pretty good all day long, I only made one bogey I think then made a nice eagle on the 4th and holed a few putts from four to six feet,” Hart said.
“I played really nicely all day only a couple of loose swings with a couple of mid-irons but I’m really happy.”
Hart is joined by Adam Stephens (NSW) who scored 3-under 69 to also be 7-under par, Anthony Quayle (QLD) is in sixth position on 6-under par.
Ray Beaufils and Daniel Nisbet, both from Queensland are T7 on 5-under par and defending champion Brad Moules (SA) is in ninth on 4-under.
Brody Martin (WA), Brett Rankin (QLD), Chris Wood (QLD), Peter Martin (QLD) and Josh Younger (VIC) fill the top-10 at 3-under
Rounding out the top-10 and shooting 6-under 66 was New South Welshman Alex Edge in a stark contrast to his round one score of 3-over 75.
“I played much better today. I didn’t hit enough greens, then struggled a bit when I was on them, but today I hit a lot more and was much better with my putter,” Edge said.
After a faultless front-9 the 28-year-old said there’s still room for improvement after some missed opportunities he feels he should’ve taken advantage of.
“I didn’t get myself in to too much strife on the front-9 so that really helped me set up a lot of chances. I think I could’ve been a bit better if I holed a few more putts.
“This is my third year up here now so I know the course well enough and I’m hitting the ball pretty nicely so as long I keep doing that it’ll help.”
The cut was made at 2-over the card with 51 Professionals and two amateurs making the weekend rounds.
The third round of the SP Brewery PNG Open tees off at 9:45am AEST with the final group of Cory Crawford, Damien Jordand and James Marchesani on course at 11:15am AEST.
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