Tour News

Contrasting duo leads Queensland Open

(Photo: Bruce Young)
Gold Coast amateur, Kade McBride, shares the lead with the considerably more experienced Victorian professional golfer, Anthony Brown, as the Isuzu Queensland Open heads into the weekend at the Brookwater Golf Club in Springfield west of Brisbane.

The perfect conditions on day two were a marked contrast to those on day one with pleasant late winter temperatures and relatively little wind compared to the blustery conditions of day one.

Interestingly, however, scoring did not improve dramatically with only three players breaking 70 today compared to seven in yesterday's opening round.

19 year old McBride has just returned from a successful visit to the USA to play several amateur events through the northern hemisphere summer there, winning one and securing a place in the field for the US Amateur, an achievement in itself.

He was plagued by a back injury after winning the Oglethorpe Invitational hosted by Wilmington Island Golf Club in Georgia. That disrupted his campaign at the US Amateur Championship and he was unable to make the match play field.

"I am out here playing golf with some of the best players in Australia," said McBride. "Its fun and a good experience; I am watching and learning from them.

"I want to win just as bad as anyone out here and if I can then I will be pretty happy about that."

If McBride does manage the feat he will be the first amateur to claim the Queensland Open title since Stuart Appleby in 1991.

Brown is a player good enough to have finished runner-up to Daniel Popovic at the final staging of the Australian PGA Championship at The Coolum Resort. He has been able to record only one top ten since but that effort alone tells the story of a golfer with some game.

Brown added a second round of 73 to his opening 65 on a Greg Norman designed layout that has allowed no-one to break clear.

It appeared when he finished his round and with conditions remaining ideal for much of the day that someone would go past him before the completion of play but McBride was the only player able to draw level.

Recent runner-up at the Fiji International and 2012 New Zealand Open winner, Jake Higginbottom sits just one shot behind the lead after he had bounced back from an opening round of 72 to post a second round of 67.

South Australian Tom Bond and New Zealander Peter Lee are tied for 4th while West Australian, Kim Felton, Victorian, David Bransdon and yet another South Australian, Max McCardle, are another shot back in a share of 6th.

McCardle appeared to be on track for a course record when he moved to 7 under with two holes to play and faced a 15 footer at the par five 8th (his 17th). That missed and after a poor tee shot at this final hole he took bogey and finished with 66. It was, however, the best round of the day and after his opening round of 75 threatened to see him miss his 5th cut in succession he is now in contention.

Sixteen players are under par and all are within five shots of the lead, many still considered realistic chances of winning the event including defending champion Nick Cullen who sits at 1 under par.

The cut fell at 6 over with one player, Michael Wright, thankful for a hole in one at the 16th hole to allow him to be around for the weekend. He would also be thankful for the hole in one as it earned him a cheque for $10,000.

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