Brett Rankin has moved into the lead of the Morobe Open at Lae Golf Club in Papua New Guinea after overtaking rookie Professional Jay Mackenzie in round two to sit one shot ahead of the field.
Heavy rain overnight delayed the start of play by four hours on Friday as players waited for the water to subside; when play finally got underway it was under clear skies with a light breeze blowing out of the west.
Rankin took the lead after firing 5-under 66 in round two of one of the richest events on the Ladbrokes Pro-Am Series, which along with his opening round of 7-under 64 made for a tournament total of 12-under 130 with two rounds to play.
The Brisbane based professional made eight birdies for the day and just the one bogey on the par-4 3rd hole to make the turn at 1-under 35, finishing with a solid back-9 recording a score of 4-under 31.
“After the rain we had last night I knew the course was going to play a lot differently today than it did for round one,” said Rankin.
“I was happy with where my game was at before coming over here, and I’m pleased to be in the lead at the mid-way mark.
“Having played the course a number of times now I know there are a lot of birdies to be had but it’s really important to keep the ball in play, which is what my focus has been so far.”
Just one shot of the pace in second position is New South Welshman Martin Dive after shooting 5-under 66 along with his opening round of 6-under 65 for a tournament total of 11-under 131.
“I’ve played solid golf the last couple of days,” said Dive.
“I feel really comfortable on the course and I am looking forward to what the weekend brings.
“I think the back-9 is where you need to make your score on this course, there are a couple of reachable par-5’s which you need to take advantage of.”
The next best-placed professionals are overnight leader Jay Mackenzie and Victorian Anthony Marchesani who both sit on 8-under 134 for the tournament.
Round three gets underway on Saturday morning with the lead group including Rankin, Dive and Mackenzie teeing off at 12.50pm.
Headlines at a glance
Bourke best of the bunch at Gosnells
Victorian Rory Bourke has claimed his first win on the WA swing of the Ladbrokes Pro-Am Series, finishing on top of the leaderboard with a round of 4-...
Birdie bonanza gets Burdett the win
Victorian Adam Burdett has won in the west with a standout round of 5-under 67 at the Kwinana Pro-Am.
No ‘fairytales and unicorns’ in Lee’s reality
Win the US Amateur champion at 18 years of age.