SYDNEY (Information) – Former champion Matt Jones slotted a birdie putt beneath smoke-filled skies on the remaining gap to take a one-shot lead over Paul Casey and Dimitrios Papadatos on the midway stage of the Australian Open on Friday.
The smoke attributable to bushfires which have raged round Sydney for the final month as soon as once more solid an orange haze over the course and charred leaves have been falling on the fairways when the late-starting Jones reached the top of his spherical.
“It’s not the best to breathe, our eyes have undoubtedly been stinging fairly a bit,” stated Jones, his voice hoarse from the smoke.
“I’ll be completely satisfied to get inside and get within the air con. I gained’t be doing anything for the remainder of the day. Hopefully relaxation and get an excellent night time’s sleep.”
Jones is a member at The Australian Golf Membership and, smoky skies apart, clearly enjoys the suburban lay-out the place he held off Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott to win the Stonehaven Cup in 2015.
On Friday, he snared seven birdies in opposition to a single bogey for a six-under-par 65 to edge forward of England’s Casey and fellow Australian Papadatos (66) on 10-under for the match.
“It might have been higher to be extra in entrance, however I’ll take one in entrance,” he stated.
“Nonetheless a protracted approach to go. I’m positive the wind goes to select up the subsequent two days, which is able to make it a bit harder.”
World quantity 14 Casey set the tempo on day two of his maiden Australian Open with a glowing 65 that underlined his willpower to win the match.
It was a nasty day for Australian Scott and his fellow main winners Sergio Garcia, Ernie Els, Mike Weir and Geoff Ogilvy, who all missed the lower and may have the weekend off.
That was significantly disappointing for Scott, who was seeking to play himself into type for subsequent week’s Presidents Cup in Melbourne, the place Els would be the non-playing captain of the Internationals.
Pre-tournament favourite and 2009 champion Scott rebounded from a gap 75 with a 67 on Friday however even par for the match was not sufficient to keep away from his first missed lower at his dwelling Open as an expert.
One other former main winner, Louis Oosthuizen, was the best-placed of Els’s group after two rounds, his early 66 placing him in a share of fourth with 4 different gamers on eight-under.
“Yesterday afternoon there was lots of smoke and little little bit of wind however right this moment it was clear and it’s not windy so lots of alternatives,” he stated of the morning circumstances earlier than the blanket of smoke descended once more.
“I’ve been hitting it good and completely satisfied the place I’m.”
Defending champion Abraham Ancer, who can even face the Individuals at Royal Melbourne subsequent week, snaked an eagle putt 30 ft throughout the 18th inexperienced for a 66 that stored him within the hunt at four-under.
Enhancing by Peter Rutherford