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Andrew Dodt takes outright lead at Australian PGA Championship

(Photo: Bruce Young)
Queenslander Andrew Dodt shared the lead after his opening round of 65 at the Australian PGA Championship at RACV Royal Pines on the Gold Coast and after a second round of 67 this afternoon he is now the outright leader by two shots.

Dodt leads from Victorian, Ashley Hall, who began his day at 5.30 this morning in order to finish off his delayed first round, and added a second round of 69 to be at 10 under when he finished his round at 12.30 although at that point Dodt was just about to head onto the course for his second round.

Dodt has regained his playing mojo in recent weeks after spending time with Australian Sport & Exercise Psychologist, Andrea Furst, who convinced Dodt that he needed to spend more time in playing the game rather than trying to continually perfect his technique.

A good week at the NSW Open proved he was on the right track and although he missed the cut at the Australian Open the following week he is clearly enjoying his golf more and playing accordingly.

“I hit the green on the last, but unfortunately rushed my first putt first and then missed the one coming back. So it was a frustrating way to finish because I really wanted to go bogey-free today, but it wasn’t to be and I’m not going to beat myself up about it too badly.

“The job’s only half done, so I need to keep in the same mind-set that I’ve had for the first two days. As I said to you all yesterday, I’d rather score well than hit it well, but today both elements combined so I’m obviously really happy with the state of my game.”

The last occasion Dodt carried a lead into the third round of an event was in Mauritius earlier this year where he eventually finished 5th.

Tied for third and two shots behind Hall are New Zealander, Ryan Fox, and pre-tournament favourite, Adam Scott.

Scott struggled more than usual on the greens today but was happy with his game generally.

“That’s the best I’ve played in a couple of weeks and it was a good day to do it, because it wasn’t that easy. It was probably the same as the guys had yesterday afternoon, but hitting most of the greens made it fairly stress-free for me today.”

“The greens were very slow this afternoon,” said the 2013 champion. “It’s very difficult to make putts on call when it’s not a true roll.

“I played with the best putter in the world, maybe, Greg Chalmers, and he wasn’t making them either, they were bouncing around, so you’ve got to take your opportunities when they come. That’s why it’s an important time to hit it good and I’m glad I did that.”

Fox is developing into the player he has always promised to be, not only gaining his European Tour card but playing very well at the Australian Open and in patches at the World Cup. He will get to play in the final group tomorrow with Dodt and Hall so should be comfortable in that grouping especially having played with Jordan Spieth in the final round of the Australian Open.  

“I was definitely nervous early (then) and had some good shots on that front 9 and it kind of settled everything down and almost forgot about it on the back-9 when I had a chance to win; probably a good position to be in.

“You saw what winning did for Nathan Holman last year and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want that to happen to me this year.  But, it’s nice to have a chance and nice to get a sleep in again tomorrow after the early start yesterday.  Yeah, just looking forward to giving it a good run over the weekend.”

Last year’s runner-up Harold Varner 111 is at 7 under and five from the lead while John Senden and American Julian Suri are another shot back and included in the group at 5 under is 2014 champion Greg Chalmers.

The cut fell at 2 over leaving a massive field of 80 to play the weekend.













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