Lincoln Tighe has returned from injury in spectacular form to top the leaderboard following the second round of the Coca-Cola Queensland PGA Championship presented by Toowoomba Regional Council.
In his first tournament since breaking his hand last year, a 6-under 64 on day one and 7-under 63 in round two has given the New South Welshman a two shot lead.
“If you told me that I’d have 6-under and 7-under from the first two rounds I would have taken it that’s for sure,” said Tighe.
“It was good to get off to a good start on day two; I was happy to make a couple of good putts early and keep it going.”
After 12 months away from the game the New South Welshman says while some tenderness remains in his hand he has had few issues out on the course so far.
“This is my first event back since I broke my hand so I wasn’t too sure how everything would hold up but it’s been good so far,” added Tighe who had surgery to remove a bone in his hand.
“I went through some rehab with a hand specialist so had a bit of time away from golf.
“I was working in my dad’s jewellery shop and I think that’s why I might be playing so well because I don’t want to go back there,” he joked.
The mental challenge will be what Tighe battles with most as the tournament moves into the weekend, but he believes he will be able to keep the nerves at bay.
“Especially with having so much time off the nerves can creep back in,” said Tighe.
“I’m not as trained up mentally, playing week in, week out as I was in previous years but I’m getting a handle on it.
“I just need to stick to my process, not think about the score and things like that.
“If I stick to that hopefully I’m around on Sunday.”
To be in contention in the final round of the QLD PGA Championship, Tighe will look to change up some aspects of his game on the City Golf Club layout.
“On the 9th and 18th I find the tee shots a little bit funky so I’m going to try and change something up on those last couple,” he said.
Tighe’s round of 7-under was equalled in the afternoon field by Queensland’s Daniel Nisbet who sits two shots off the lead at 11-under the card.
Within one shot with two holes to play after firing an eagle on the par-4 16th, a bogey on the last cemented Nisbet’s second place in the tournament.
“I’ve been putting well for the last couple of days and hitting the ball pretty well,” said Nisbet.
“I managed to roll a couple in and hole one from off the green on the third last hole today which was a nice little bonus at the end there.
“The 16th was definitely a highlight, it was playing pretty short today and we were able to take advantage of that,” said Nisbet, whose shot rivalled a similar performance from Tighe on the same hole earlier in the day.
“I hit it straight through to the green and chipped it in.
“The wind played a lot of tricks out there with a few of the shots.
With high winds and weather expected to hit over the weekend, both Tighe and Nisbet expect varying results over the next two days.
“There’s meant to be a bit of an Armageddon coming weather wise so who knows,” added Tighe.
“You talk to different people and it’s not going to be as bad or it’s going to be worse so we’ll just see what the guys do but I can only do what I can to play well.”
While Nisbet added, “If all of the leaders tee off around the same time we’re all going to get the same conditions.”.
“It might be tough out there but we’ll see how much the wind blows the ball around on the greens; it might be tricky or it might be ok.”
Victorian Deyen Lawson also fired 7-under the card in round two, recording eight birdies including three in a row from holes 5 to 7, with a bogey on 18 securing his final total and a place tied for third alongside New Zealand’s Daniel Pearce at 9-under.
Rounding out the top-5 on the leaderboard at 8-under the card are Nathan Green, James Nitties, Max McCardle, Denzel Ieremia and James Marchesani.
The second round cut was made at 1-under the card with 54 professionals and six amateurs making the weekend.
For tee times please visit pga.org.au.
For results please visit pga.org.au.
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