ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth defending champion Brett Rumford and former world No.1 Lee Westwood are locked at the top of the leaderboard after the second round at Lake Karrinyup Country Club.
A strong wind blew throughout the course of the round making scoring difficult, particularly for the afternoon field. However, Rumford remained level-headed throughout his round to shoot even-par and stay at eight-under the card. He said the conditions meant a patient game was required in contrast to his round of 64 on Thursday.
“It was just rough from word go. It just hit you on the first tee, it was just, bang, straight in your face, just a completely different aesthetic,” Rumford said. “Every single hole looked different to yesterday, the way it played, your landing areas, everything. So it was a day just purely for concentration and just knocking them down. You couldn’t really go out and chase it today.
“I’m happy to have signed for 72, happy to be tied for the lead and obviously happy that I’m in that top-eight. Come what may tomorrow, No.1 would be nice, a little bonus there, but otherwise a top-eight is what I’m focused on.”
Westwood had a chance to finish Friday in the lead but a short putt lipped out on the 18th that led to a bogey, which saw him finish at two-under 70 and eight under in total.
“Not easy out there. I haven’t played it a lot and I know the wind can really pick up in Perth, but you don’t expect it to blow quite as strong as it’s blown today and it was tricky out there. You really have to have your wits about you,” Westwood said.
While Rumford said his aim over the first three rounds is to finish inside the top-eight to guarantee a spot in the second round of matchplay, Westwood said he believes Sunday is wide open to anyone in the top-24.
“I don’t look at it (the top-eight), no, I’m just trying to shoot as low as possible. I know if I carry on playing like I’m playing and a few putts start to go in, because I didn’t really hole any putts today, I’ll be thereabouts on the leaderboard.
“To be perfectly honest, matchplay is anybody’s. You’re going to need a lot of luck to win it.”
Thailand’s Prom Meesawat also finished his round with two-under 70, a bogey on the 18th costing him a share of the lead as he sits seven under.
After making the cut last year but ultimately finishing outside the top-24, he won’t be looking for a top-eight finish and will focus on his own play heading into round three.
“There’s still a lot of golf to play and also a lot of good players here this week and I’m just going to stick with my game and just try to do my best,” Meesawat said.
Playing in the final group of the day, Scotsman Grant Forrest was able to make an impressive par to finish his round on four-under 68 and sit seven under overall.
“I hit it really well off the tee so it made the course a lot more playable. You know, it wasn’t easy to get close to a lot of the pins, especially today with the wind. So, yeah, just much of the same, try and keep rolling some putts in,” Forrest said.
Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen and Victorian Lucas Herbert climbed the leaderboard early in the second round at Lake Karrinyup. Olesen, beginning from the 10th tee, turned his form around after a frustrating opening round to shoot five-under 67, moving to seven under.
Teeing off in the morning was an advantage for both Olesen and Herbert as the winds picked up across the course.
Olesen just missed out on qualifying for last year’s top-24, admitting his play in the third round was not up to scratch 12 months ago.
“I really, really like this golf course, I think it’s really good, and last year I just had a bad Saturday and I’ll try to do that different [Saturday].”
Herbert, who did qualify in the top-24 last year, shot a round of three-under 69 to join Olesen.
The cut was made at even par with 79 professionals and one amateur making the third round.