20 Apr 2024 | Professional golf | Amateur golf |

Edge, Bailey take control at Tasmanian Open

by Tony Webeck

Alex Edge Jorjah Bailey Round 2 Tasmanian Open
Alex Edge and Jorjah Bailey will both start the final round two strokes clear at the Tasmanian Open at Launceston. Photos: PGA of Australia (Edge), Solstice Digital (Bailey)

New South Welshman Alex Edge denied Ash Hall a steak dinner by extending his lead while local hope Jorjah Bailey played her way into top spot in the women’s event at the Tasmanian Open at Launceston Golf Club.

In the adidas PGA Pro-Am Series event, Edge backed up his 4-under 68 from day one with a 2-under 70 on Saturday, enough to double his lead to two strokes.

Hall delivered the round of the tournament to date – 6-under 66 – to join a logjam in second place at 4-under with Mark Panopolous (67), Kyle Michel (70) and Tim Hart (70) heading into Sunday’s third and final round.

Edge remains the man to beat, though, who overcame the disappointment of his beloved Parramatta Eels going down on Friday night to hold his position as outright leader.

Square with the card after two birdies and two bogeys in his opening seven holes, Edge showed admirable patience on the tight Launceston layout.

After a run of seven straight pars he moved to 1-under on his round with a birdie at the par-5 15th, adding a second two holes later to lead the way at 6-under par.

“Just tried to do similar to yesterday by keeping it in play,” said Edge.

“I found myself in a few awkward positions at times so I had to take my medicine and not compound any mistakes.

“I started getting a few looks when I had wedges in my hand to make some birdies and it was fine.

“This place is not all about power. You can be creative and I think that as long as I'm doing that and chip and putt nicely, then it'll make it harder for them to get me.”

After a practice round together at Barnbougle Dunes in the days leading up to the tournament, Hall had promised himself a steak dinner on Saturday night if he’d reined Edge in.

That will now have to wait at least 24 hours despite a round that boasted nine birdies.

“I was 2-over through three, so it was good from there. Very good from there,” said Hall.

“I even dropped one on the par-5 10th as well.

“It was a bit of an in-joke. I wanted to get to the lead then we'll go out to a nice steak restaurant.

“But if ‘Edgey’ is two in front, then no steak for me tonight.

“He is in good form though, I must admit.

“I'll just keep doing what I'm doing, play aggressive tomorrow and see what happens.”

Bailey trailed Matilda Miels by four after day one but unleashed a birdie barrage in Round 2 to move two strokes clear.

Starting from the 10th tee, Bailey had three bogeys on the trot early in her round but a birdie at the par-5 15th was a taste of what was to come.

Her second birdie of the day came at the par-5 second, the first of six in a front nine of 5-under 31 and 1-under 71 total.

At 1-over par she leads Rebecca Zhao (75) by two with Miels (78) a further shot back in outright third.

“I got a bit unlucky I’d say on my first nine,” said Bailey.

“Hit into a few trees, had a three-putt, few bunkers, but really turned it around on the front, which was really nice to see.

“I chipped in on the seventh for birdie and then I pitched two close ones up on eight and nine to really seal it with three in a row.”

Playing on her home course, Bailey admitted that there will be an extra sense of expectation in trying to close out the win in front of members and family.

“I'd say there's a lot of pressure being at your own course,” said Bailey.

“Hitting it really well, striking it well. It all came together on that last nine so hopefully can keep doing it tomorrow.”

Saturday also saw the opening round of the Tasmanian Inclusive Championship with Coffs Harbour’s Cameron Pollard establishing a 11-shot lead with a round of 4-over 76 from Brett Misso and Rod Welsh.

The Men's and Women’s Tasmanian Opens are supported by the Tasmanian Government through Events Tasmania

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