Harry Bateman and David Klein lead the Carrus Open after two rounds and currently sit at eleven-under par for the tournament in what felt like moving day at the Tauranga Golf Club.
Bateman was on ’59 watch’ early in his round before easing off the pace to card a handy total of six-under (64), while Klein continued his consistency with a four-under (66) to remain on top.
Bateman has been flirting with the leaders in the last three events and is pleased to finally feature at the top.
“It’s a great feeling, my game is in pretty good shape and finally a few putts dropped which helped, but I probably needed to stop thinking about 59 and just keep charging,” smiled Bateman.
A near hole-in-one which hit the pin on the fifth, coupled with a late chip-in helped the 26-year-old rise to the top. Bateman has been playing on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour for many years now and has finished in second place on three occasions which he will be looking to change come Sunday.
“I have obviously had a few second place finishes, so it’s nice to be in contention once again and maybe get over the line after quite a few years on the New Zealand circuit.”
Te Anau’s Klein, who had a one shot lead overnight couldn’t match his opening round of 64, but is happy to remain in the mix as he looks to capture his second career win on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour.
“I played okay but once again left a few out there, but you can’t be too unhappy any time you are in the lead,” said Klein.
His aggressive nature has got him into this position and won’t be taking a backwards step as he continues to pull driver at the short and exciting Tauranga Golf Club.
“I haven’t hit an iron off the tee yet and I don’t really want to change it,” he said with determination.
We are gifted with a crowded leaderboard courtesy of some low scores on a perfect Friday afternoon, none more so than Luke Toomey’s round of seven-under (63).
Sitting eight-under through 15 holes, the Waikato professional attracted a large gallery as he also attempted to shoot the magic 59. His odds to achieve this were more likely after shooting a 58 at this very course in July last year.
“I can’t lie and say I wasn’t thinking about 59 after my good start, but I didn’t feel too much pressure because I have done it here before. It’s just nice to be back in the mix leading into the weekend,” said Toomey.
“After playing this course so well I have a heck of a lot of belief when I stand over the ball and I’m pumped about the weekend.”
Joining Toomey in third at a ten-under total is three time Carrus Open champion and current defending champion, Mark Brown.
It will be impossible for the leaders not to see or feel Brown’s presence as we enter the weekend of a tournament he has been outrageously successful in.
In the women’s field, Carmen Lim kept calm on day two of the Carrus Open to card a great round of two-under par to lead the women’s field by the same amount at the Tauranga Golf Club.
The 13-year-old has been impressive this summer after playing a large part in Auckland’s successful Toro Interprovincial campaign in December and has carried this form into the Jennian Homes Charles Tour.
After playing consistent golf at both the Akarana and Muriwai Open, Lim will be looking to convert her solid start in Tauranga. Today she carded four birdies with two bogeys which elevates her into the final group as we approach the weekend.
The young Auckland amateur is proving her ability on a regular basis, but Lim must remain at her best during the weekend with Brittney Dryland breathing down her neck.
The 2016 Akarana Open champion went one under the card to be back in the action for the first time in a handful of events. Another shot further back is the ever-dangerous duo of Rose Zheng and Chantelle Cassidy who you can assure will make a move tomorrow.
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