Scott moves but Appleby still in charge

Stuart Appleby may have had the worst side of the draw on the opening two days of the Australian Open but, when 36 holes were finally completed this morning, he still led by two over Adam Scott and by five over Scott Hend, Jarrod Lyle and Nick O'Hern.

Appleby was one of those who finished his round yesterday and given that he faced the difficulties off the afternoon draw on day one and the dramas of play's suspension on day two, the magnitude of his effort was is hard to disguise. Those out early on day one and late on day two had the luxury of finishing their rounds in ideal conditions this morning and many took advantage.

Scott returned to the 8th tee this morning to complete his second round and was quickly into stride. He birdied four of his first six holes after play had been restarted and although unable to birdie the reachable par five last, he had reduced the margin to just two.

Appleby's co-first round leader, Scott Hend, recovered from a slow start to his second round to record a one under 71 and at 7 under he is in a group of three at that score. Hend dropped shots at his second and third holes before adding three extra birdies.

Also at 7 under are Jarrod Lyle and Nick O'Hern, both moving into contention with second rounds of 68. O'Hern might yet be the dark horse after a very good finish to his last event in the US. He finished third at the ANZ Championship at this golf course in 2003 and if the winds develop at all over the weekend he is expected to be a contender late on Sunday.

Chris Campbell, Tim Wilkinson and Michael Curtain are at 4 under and although eight shots from Appleby's lead are still well within striking distance should the leader falter at all over the final 36 holes.

The cut fell at five over, the pre-tournament favourite Geoff Ogilvy just scrapping through on that score.

The tournament is now all but back on schedule, the final group on the golf course at 2.15pm.

Bruce Young
About The Author : Bruce Young

A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of and background in the game of golf comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.

More Articles from Bruce Young