Darryn Lloyd hit two great two-irons into the 16th on Friday and the resulting eagle got him back into the lead right at the end of the second round of the R1.2-million Nashua Masters.
He signed for a one-over-par 71 to go to five-under-par for the tournament and take a one-stroke lead over Garth Mulroy into the weekend in the event being played at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club.
And, after turning in three-over-par 38 as the height of the poor weather Â wind and rain battered most of the rest of the field Â he was thankful to close in two-under 33 to edge ahead of Mulroy.
ÂIt was difficult to stay patient in the beginning, because the holes that were downwind today were on the first nine, and I should have been scoring on them,Â said Lloyd.
Instead, he made four bogeys in the opening seven holes. ÂI wasnÂt hitting it that well today,Â he said, Âso IÂm very pleased with the outcome.Â
Like Lloyd, Mulroy finished fast with three consecutive birdies and he too was thankful the wind and the rain relented. His fast finish lifted him to a one-under-par 69, one of the very few under-par rounds of the day, enough to get him to four-under for the tournament.
ÂIt was tough to even stand over your ball,Â said Mulroy of the winds that gusted up to 40 kilometres per hour from the south-west. ÂI backed off a lot. I got gusts blowing all over the place.Â
And then the rain started coming down after he had made three bogeys on his opening nine to turn in 38. ÂThe rain suits came on, the umbrellas came up, and you couldnÂt even hold the umbrellas up,Â he said. ÂIt wasnÂt fun there for a while.Â
The day started with nobody able to make any headway on par, and before overnight leader Lloyd teed off, it looked as if Tyrone MordtÂs one-under-par clubhouse target might hold up into the third round.
ÂLuckily it calmed down a little bit for the last hour, and I was able to make some birdies,Â said Mulroy.
Eventually, Mordt was joined on one-under by David Hewan, who came sixth in last yearÂs tournament, and took advantage of the calmer conditions to post a closing three-under 32 for his homeward nine after starting his round on the 10th.
Defending champion Warren Abery had much the worst of the weather, and he carded his second consecutive two-over-par 68 to find himself nine shots off the pace at four-over, as the cut was made at nine-over-par on a tough day.