Wellington professional Gareth Paddison has a three shot lead at the Carrus Tauranga Open after an impressive six under par 64 in fine but cold conditions in round two at the Tauranga Golf Club.

The experienced left hander, who has played on the European Tour and is currently 10th on the One Asia Order of Merit, got to a nine under par total to lead professionals Dominic Barson and Pieter Zwart and amateur Ryan Fox by three shots at the halfway stage.

Paddison, who last year won on his Charles Tour debut at the Wairakei Open, backed up his three under par 67 from the opening round to overtake his New Zealand World Cup team-mate Michael Hendry who had a disappointing even par 70.

“I played really solid and in all honesty I am bit disappointed as I left a good three shots out there,” said the 31-year-old Paddison

“But I also played some extraordinary shots – I had two chip ins – so I guess I can’t be too greedy, but I feel like it could have been a couple better. My game is looking really good, there are things to improve on but I am feeling confident going into tomorrow.

“As much as I am disappointed I have to look at the result and I have a three shot lead so I don’t have much to complain about.”

Paddison got off to a flying start and was four under after four holes. He managed seven birdies in all with one dropped shot at the 14th.

Auckland professional Dominic Barson was the big mover of day two also with a six under par 64 elevating him 22 places and getting him to within three shots of Paddison.

“You want to always give yourself a chance,” said Barson. “I have been in this position before and played pretty poorly so it is important to not get too excited.

“I think I have just got to hole more putts that has been my Achilles heel for the past year and a half. I have been averaging more than 30 putts around which is not good enough. I putted a lot better today and that is a start.

“We were lucky with the conditions today, I played the front nine first and the back nine was much calmer so that was good to make some putts when my ball striking was good. It is not a hard course to get around so the key to scoring well here is putting.”

New Zealand’s leading amateur Ryan Fox, who finished third in the event in 2010, played alongside Paddison and delivered a four under 66 to be in a share of second place.

“Both days I played one really good nine holes and one really average nine holes but I switched the nines around,” said the 24-year-old.

“Today, I didn’t really hole any putts or hit it close enough but I was happy with how I finished.

Fox enjoyed another opportunity to play alongside Paddison.

“Gareth and Mike are our two best pros in this field. It is great seeing how the next level up plays. He has plotted his way around this course brilliantly in the first two rounds. He hasn't hit too many bad shots and if a couple more putts had gone in today it could have been a lot lower. I am learning a lot from playing with him.”

Pre-tournament favourite Hendry, who opened with a five under par 65, never produced his best in round two. He worked on the range after his round and was bitterly disappointed with his effort.

“That was bloody awful, from tee to green I couldn’t get anything going,” said the 31-year-old.

“If you hit it bad around any course you are going to suffer and I was probably lucky to shoot 70 really.

“I better get my act together because if I don’t I will be slide further and further back.”

The 2009 champion, who was runner up last year, has a good record at the Tauranga Golf Club and is looking to turn it around on day three.

“Hopefully it was just one of those days where I was lacking rhythm. I am going to go home and have a few beers, watch the rugby and hope it is better tomorrow.”

Local favourite Jared Pender backed up his four under par 66 start with a one under par 69 in the benign morning conditions.

New Zealand Amateur Champion Perry was also among the big movers on day two to get into contention.

The Waikato amateur was the only player from the NZ team to record four counting scores at the Nomura Cup in Fiji recently. He had an eventful three under par 67 (which included an eagle, five birdies and four bogeys) to get to five under for the tournament.

“I am surprised by my position after 36 holes,” said the 24-year-old.

“The conditions are tough and guys are struggling to score as opposed to previous years. I am happy to be five under. I haven’t really put a full round together yet. I have been over par early and then I have fought back to get back into contention. I am happy to be in the position I am heading into the weekend.”

Meantime in the women’s field Emily Perry holds a three shot lead from New Zealand team mate Chantelle Cassidy after she shot a three under par 69 in round two.


    1 Lee, Jang Hyun 124.00
    2 Jones, Samuel 80.25
    3 Zheng, Jimmy 76.75
    4 Kobori, Kazuma 70.00
    5 Smail, Charlie 69.83
    1 Chung, Darae 100.13
    2 Son, Yeonsoo 86.85
    3 Kang, Sumin 69.60
    4 Kobori, Momoka 66.67
    5 Im, Amy 60.64