Tim Wilkinson and Daniel Hillier have led the Kiwi charge on day two of the 99th ISPS Handa New Zealand Open with impressive rounds of seven-under par at The Hills this afternoon as Harry Bateman once again claimed the tag of lead Kiwi at 12-under.

With rounds of 65 and 67, Bateman ended the day just three behind front-runner, West Australian Terry Pilkadaris (15-under) in another low scoring affair at both Queenstown courses.

Playing in the morning field, Wilkinson and Hillier flew up the leaderboard to be nine-under par after two rounds. However, this is still an incredible six shots behind Pilkadaris who capitalised on the calm conditions on both days. The cut was made at seven-under par which is believed to be the lowest in history on the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia.

Callan O’Reilly made the most of the windless south by recording a course record of 11-under (61) on his way to second place.

Wilkinson lit the course up this morning with an opening nine of 29 which included five birdies and an eagle before an even-par back nine halted his momentum.

“The front nine was pretty good, I made some nice putts. Scored 29 – to break 30 is always good, but the back nine I really left a few out there. I made a good putt on six for birdie, hit a few that slid by and made a soft bogey on the ninth,” said Wilkinson.

“I hit it a little bit closer today and my wedges weren’t quite close enough yesterday, but it’s beautiful at The Hills, a great golf course.”

Hillier who is the reigning New Zealand Amateur Champion showed exactly why as he joins our New Zealand Stroke Play Champion, Mark Hutson and rookie professional Nick Voke at nine-under for the championship. With seven birdies and zero bogeys, Hillier has achieved his goal of making the cut by a healthy margin.

“It feels pretty amazing, I knew I had to do something special to make the cut and I managed to get a few putts to drop which was nice,” said Hillier.

It wasn’t meant to be for two marquee Kiwis this week with defending champion Michael Hendry and European Tour star Ryan Fox missing the cut by small margins.

Fox had the crowd roaring at Millbrook resort with an eagle on the par five 17th before breaking hearts with a wobbly three-putt on the par three island green.





    1 Hydes, James 147.28
    2 Kobori, Kazuma 146.00
    3 Thompson, Mako 107.58
    4 Jones, Samuel 98.70
    5 Zheng, Jimmy 96.58
    1 Chung, Darae 238.04
    2 Kobori, Momoka 142.00
    3 Xu, Fiona 98.04
    4 Son, Yeonsoo 90.74
    5 Maurice, Caitlin 84.77