Steven Jeffress has once again proven that he has what it takes to contend in Papua New Guinea after firing 7-under 65 in round two of the SP PNG Open to sit tied for first place.
Joining morning leader Jordan Mullaney on 11-under the card, Jeffress played a steady round in the afternoon field as winds picked up around the course.
“I just played solid all day,” said Jeffress. “There were no amazing shots, I just played well; except for the 17th hole.”
“For the rest of the round I hit the ball nicely off the tee, the iron’s good, I putted nice, I did everything well.
“I hit a great shot into 12 and made a birdie there. I hit an 8-iron into about 5-foot just behind it so that was good to keep the momentum going.”
Pleased to hold a share of the lead heading into the weekend’s play, Jeffress will play rounds three and four at Royal Port Moresby Golf Club with a carefree attitude having already performed well on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia in 2019.
“It’s great to be tied for the lead,” added Jeffress. “It’s what you do; you come up here to win.
“I’ve got nothing to lose; I’ve got enough money enough to be exempt next year so for me I’m not playing for money, I’d like to win the title so it’s good when you can do that.
“I’ll just keep playing my game. Around here and on all golf courses you need a little bit of luck but I’ll keep doing the same thing.
“It all comes down to putting. If you hole a few, you’ll be up there. If you don’t, you’ll fall back. The scores really show how good the course is.”
Sitting amongst the front-runners following the opening round of the tournament, a hot putter was the key to Mullaney’s success in round two which saw him fire eight birdies and two bogeys.
“My round today was similar to yesterday,” said Mullaney. “I got off to a hot start again. I have been putting really well on both days and just kept it together which was good.
“It’s the first time for me being right up the top so it’s great.”
Favouring the front-9 of the Royal Port Moresby layout, it is the back-9 that has worked best for the New South Welshman so far this week where he fired three birdies in a row from holes 15 to 17.
“That for me can be a bit of a tough stretch,” said Mullaney of the tail-end of the back-9.
“There’s a lot of water and you can stuff up those holes pretty easily so it was good to get through with a few birdies.
“I think the front-9 generally is easier but I played a bit better on the back today. I just take it one hole at a time.”
A foggy morning greeted players in Papua New Guinea before temperatures soared and humidity increased to make for tough conditions out on the course.
“It was a little bit dewy this morning so it’s a little tricky around the fringes of the greens,” added Mullaney.
“I made a couple of bogeys from around the edge of the greens which was a bit disappointing. Other than that the course was really good.”
Jeffress and Mullaney hold a one-shot lead over Andrew Campbell in third place on 10-under, while yesterday’s overnight leader Daniel Fox sits tied for fourth place alongside James Anstiss on a tournament total of 9-under the card.
The second round cut was made at 1-over with 52 professionals and three amateurs progressing to the final two rounds.
Round three of the SP PNG Open at Royal Port Moresby Golf Club tees off on Saturday morning at 9:00am local time.
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