Harris English has opened up a two shot lead – photo Getty Images Gregory Shamus

Australian chances of success at the Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua Resort in Hawaii took a hit today despite Marc Leishman making progress with a second consecutive round of 69 to be at 8 under through 36 holes.

Scoring was again low on the par 73 layout with only one of the 42 player field over par at the halfway mark.

Leishman finds himself in a share of 22nd place in the 42-player field but some six shots from the leader, Harris English who leads by two over a four-way tie for second place including, Collin Morikawa, Daniel Berger, Ryan Palmer and defending champion, Justin Thomas.

While there is some margin between himself and the lead, Leishman will be encouraged by an improved showing in his first start of the year, especially given his very average second half of 2020.

Leishman’s only mistake came at the driveable par 4 14th on which he missed the green right from the tee and was forced to hit it sideways before reaching the green in three and took bogey. He would two-putt for birdie the last after setting up a good eagle chance.

Adam Scott was unable to capitalise on his opening round of 68 and his 2 under 71 saw him slip 18 places to now be in a share of 27th while Cameron Smith added a second consecutive 70 to be in 32nd place.

The leader, English, is playing the event for just the second occasion having finished 14th on debut in 2014. English is in the expanded field courtesy of making it to the Tour Championship but has not won on the PGA Tour since 2013.

His most recent form has been encouraging with three top tens in his last four starts on the PGA Tour.

“Yeah, it was a cool perk of making it to the TOUR Championship and getting in this week,” said English. “That was awesome. I have wanted to get back here since 2014 and watched this tournament every year when I’m back home and glad to be able to come back to Kapalua and play.

“I guess the thing is to get in the Sentry Tournament of Champions every year this is a good place to win every year to get yourself back in the tournament. So I like where I stand, I’m pumped about the weekend and ready for the challenge.”