21 Feb 2020 | Isuzu Queensland Open | Professional golf |
Old guard stands firm in Queensland
by Mark Hayes
There’s been much talk of a changing of the guard on the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia, but David Bransdon and Brad Kennedy aren’t having a bar of it.
The pair, as well as fellow 40-something Richard Green, are all perfectly poised to halt the advance of the youth brigade at Pelican Waters this weekend, holding sway at the halfway point of the Isuzu Queensland Open.
While New South Welshman Jake Higginbottom matched Bransdon’s opening day course-record 63 today, it wasn’t enough to run down the Victorian’s edge.
Higginbottom roared through from +1 overnight all the way to -8 to sit alongside emerging pair Jarryd Felton and Anthony Quayle in a share of fifth with Green.
Talented amateur pair Josh Armstrong, of Canberra, and Jack Thompson, of Adelaide sit third and fourth at 11 and 10 under, respectively, but they’re spotting a couple of Japanese tour players a start for the weekend on the Sunshine Coast.
Kennedy, one of the hottest golfers on the planet in November and early December, has shown flashes of brilliance in the opening weeks of his 2020 campaign.
And the Queenslander did so again today with six birdies en route to a 68 that added to his opening 65 to leave him 11 under in total.
But it was a great approach that set up a tap-in birdie on the last that preserved Bransdon’s one-stroke lead with the Victorian, a former winner of the T.B. Hunter Cup at Brookwater, signing for a second-round 69 to sit 12 under.
Bransdon immediately said he’d look forward to playing with Kennedy’s familiar face and more traditional tactics as the youngsters chased.
“I played with Brad last Saturday (in the Queensland PGA Championship) and we’ve played a lot in Japan since I’ve been up there,” Bransdon said.
“The young guys they’ll do what they do ... hit it 400 (metres), go wedge it and have a few putts, and we’ll play a different game our way,” he said with a broad smile.
Bransdon said stiffer afternoon breezes made scoring more difficult than his early opening-day barrage.
“It got tricky on the back nine … it was crosswinds and hard to pick,” he said.
“I hit a couple of ordinary golf shots, but overall it was still nice.”
Incredibly, 12 amateurs made the cut which was made at +1 to find the top 50 professionals and ties.
A host of big names missed the weekend action including Deyen Lawson, Ash Hall, Scott Arnold, Aaron Townsend and defending champion Jordan Zunic.
Local amateur Sarah Wilson, just the second woman to play in the Queensland Open, made a run with two late birdies, but came up one short at +2 despite a fine second-round 72.
Re-live the best action from day two at Pelican Waters
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