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Kiwi pair leads Rebel Sport Masters

Pearce chasing second PGA Tour of Australasia victory (Photo: Bruce Young)
New Zealanders Daniel Pearce and Nick Coxon lead the Rebel Sport Masters at the Wainui Golf Club near Auckland, the pair two ahead of Auckland-based veteran Australian Peter Fowler.

Brad Shilton and joint first round leader, Austin Bautista of New South Wales, are tie 4th and three from the lead.

Hamiltonian, Coxon, who only just missed out on an Australasian Tour card at the recent PGA Tour of Australasia Tour School, took advantage of the early conditions and raced to the turn in 32 and although the momentum slowed over his closing nine holes he had done enough to lead the field with Pearce.

“I actually played similarly to how I played that back nine yesterday,” said Coxon who had four birdies through holes 10 to 18 in round one.

“Starting on the back today I was 4-under again so I guess I just like that back nine. I was getting a little frustrated not making anything on that front nine but I did have a couple of good saves and then to birdie the 8th was nice,” added Coxon.

The 21-year-old finds himself in the leading group as the inaugural event reaches the halfway mark in just his second appearance on the PGA Tour of Australasia. 

“It’s good to be up there at the top of the leaderboard but we’re only halfway so hopefully I can keep this up and we’ll see where I end up at the end of the week.”

Pearce appeared to be taking control of the event when he birdied four consecutive holes early in his round but double bogeys at his 8th and 9th holes put paid to that. He would though be home in 32 to join Coxon in the lead.

“It was pretty frustrating out there to be honest, I played probably better than I did yesterday, I just got a little rushed there in the middle and made a couple of mistakes,” said Pearce.

“But I still played well so I’m happy with today. It’s been a little while since I’ve shot a couple of under-par rounds in a tournament so it’s good to be in front.”

Pearce won the Queensland PGA Championship last year and finished 5th at the lucrative Fiji International but he has missed the cut in his last three PGA Tour of Australasia event so this is a big turnaround.

Pre-tournament favourites Michael Hendry and Ryan Fox went in different directions today. Fox recovered from a slow start to the event with a round of 67 to be at 1 under and now just six from the lead while Hendry’s round of 73 sees him one shot further back at even par.

STEVEN SLAPPENDEL CHIPPING DISTANCE CONTROL

     

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