Golf Australia

Longmore tops despite back-nine jinx

Dale Clarke
New Zealander Dale Clarke hammers a drive down the 13th at the Vines Golf Club of Reynella today.

Greg Longmore shares the lead after two of three rounds of the Australian Mid Amateur Championship in South Australia, yet he’s got a small problem.

The Tasmanian sits alongside Adelaide’s Phil Chapman in the lead at two over par on the challenging Vines Golf Club at Reynella layout south of Adelaide.

But, remarkably, Longmore hasn’t fired a back-nine birdie in two days and has played the closing nine a combined six over par.

Naturally, with a quality field bunched hard up on their heels – four more players are within two strokes – Longmore has a clear vision for his final round.

“I’ve really struggled on that back nine, I’m yet to have a birdie out there and it’s been a real struggle,” said the Launceston Golf Club member, who began his second round off the tenth tee.

“But I came home strong. The front nine was really good … and I holed a few putts.”

But he wasn’t alone. For the second straight day, the front nine was far more forgiving for the 85-strong field, yielding 77 birdies to 42 on the way in.

Longmore and Chapman will be in the sights of two home-club members tomorrow with Michael Bruggeman (+4) and Tony Nobbs (+3) among those in contention with the latter shooting day two’s best round, an even-par 72.

The other main contenders are Kiwi Dale Clarke at +3, while former champion Andrew Tharle, of Royal Canberra, is two back at +4 and still tied fifth despite two uncustomary double-bogeys on his card over the first 36 holes.

In the women’s field, Louise Mullard, of New South Wales, holds an almost bullet-proof 18-stroke lead after rounds of 74-76 left her at eight over.

Remarkably, Mullard has had 26 pars over the two days – more than anyone in the field, including the men.

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