Veteran Michael Wright – at 47 years of age chasing his first Australasian Tour victory – photo PGA of Australia
21 players are within two shots of the halfway lead at the Isuzu Queensland Open at the Pelican Waters Golf Club near Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast, the cut finalised earlier on Saturday morning when the twenty or so players yet to finish their second rounds returned to the golf course.
Recent PGA Tour of Australasia winners, Bryden Macpherson and Christopher Wood, along with recently turned professional Blake Windred and veterans Peter Wilson and Michael Wright are tied in the lead at 8 under par but six players are just one back at 7 under and another ten players are at 6 under.
Wright and Wilson had two holes to play when darkness stopped play on Friday evening and they returned to complete those holes in even par to remain in a share of their overnight lead.
Macpherson and Wood both broke through for their maiden PGA Tour of Australasia victories a month ago in Victoria, Wood winning the Vic PGA Championship and Macpherson, a former British Amateur Champion, the Moonah Links PGA Classic and their form has rolled over into this $125,000 event.
Macpherson’s second round of 64 is the best of the week thus far.
NSW’s, Windred, turned professional just over twelve months ago, but like so many others in his position, his introduction to the paid ranks has been hampered by Covid 19. He has, though, put together several solid finishes in that time when the opportunity has presented itself.
47-year-old Wright and 44 year old Wilson have both won events at this level earlier in their career although for Wright they were on the former Von Nida Tour and although both are now ranked outside the top 1500 in the world at present, their experience will carry them a long way this weekend.
Amongst those in the next line is arguably the most credentialed player amongst the contenders Matthew Griffin, a winner of the New Zealand and Victorian Opens amongst his five professional titles.
The cut fell at 1 under and amongst the victims were the recently turned professional Elvis Smylie who after finishing 3rd in his professional debut last week missed the cut by one shot, experiencing the roller coaster fortunes of professional golf so early in his career.
Also a victim of the cut was 15 year old Billy Dowling who had just three holes to play and was on the cutline at that point when he returned to the course this morning. Unfortunately he would drop two shots and finish two shots from playing the weekend.
The event included five invited women and one who had qualified on her own merits, but none were able to make it into the weekend.