After playing in such difficult conditions yesterday, competitors of the 2015 Aussie Open were hoping for Mother Nature to ease up. Yesterday’s storm had cooled things down quite a bit, but it did leave a lingering breeze which, in Australia, tends to swirl and confuse players to almost maddening proportions. If you have the mental game to combat the humidity and blustery conditions, you seriously have a chance to spring forward to make a big leap on the leaderboard. That is exactly what three particular players intended to do.
German and current distance record holder Simon Lizotte started the day six strokes back of round one leader Nate Doss, but he had his sights set on the lead card ever since he finished yesterday afternoon. His first round actually wasn’t bad. “I only had three bad holes,” he said later that evening. When asked about the tough bogey on the short 8th hole, he mentioned that it was just one bad shot and one missed putt. The real mistake came on the 17th; carding a triple bogey six, while other players were making birdie twos. He knew if he just cleaned up a few tee shots, he would still have a chance to win this thing. Well, on day 2, he did exactly that. Simon started the round on a tear with birdies on his first three holes. He wouldn’t look back after that. He finished the round with a three on the difficult and OB-ridden par 4 1st hole to set a new course record of 53, or twelve under par.
Paul McBeth started the round in an entirely different position. He sat just one throw back of Doss, and knew that if he could keep his composure in the middle of the course, he would have a chance to make a move. So what did he do? Well, he shot lights out on the front nine, only missing two holes to finish at -7. After a par on the 10th hole, this was the point which would make or break his round (if you remember from yesterday, he made a 7 on the par 5 16th, and wasn’t his usual self with the putter). “I played fine on the front, but this is where I need to keep it going,” he said as he stepped up to the twelfth tee. Keep it going, he did. He made birdies on 12, 13 and 14 and cruised through his problem holes with pars (he almost got revenge on the 16th, but his birdie chained out). He would finish his round with a tap-in 2 on the island-green eighteenth hole to also shoot an astounding -12, mere moments after Simon had turned in his card.
Nate Doss played solid, but couldn’t keep pace with all those birdies. Two tough bogies in the middle of the course kept him from being able to catch Paul. He and Simon now sit in second place, five shots back. Ricky Wysocki also played great today, and after starting with birdies on six out of the first seven holes, he would finish the day in a tie for fourth place with Dave Feldberg.
In the Women’s Open division, Valarie Jenkins showed again why she is a multiple US and World Champion today. She simply was unstoppable. Making putts from everywhere and throwing scintillating drives is a recipe for instant success, and the scores at the end of the day only prove it. She finished the round with a score of one under par 64, which is unofficially rated at 997. To put that into perspective, only six players in the entire competition would shoot a better round today. Six. That’s a pretty stellar round for anyone, considering the wind and the length of the track at theMundaring Disc Golf Park. Jennifer Allen still sits in second place, although now she has a considerable margin to cover.
Simon Feasey stretched his lead in the Masters division, but only by 2. He is three shots clear of American-Australian John Cloutier, who wants nothing more than to take home the title in front of his family and friends, but he will have his work cut out for him. They are being closely chased by a gang of golfers, including German Gregor Marter and journeyman Pete Johnson from Massachusetts. Will the New Zealander be able to fend off the masses, or will we see an underdog come out on top?
Be sure to check in tomorrow, as we will continue with live scoring and coverage via Twitter andInstagram. For pictures of players and the beautiful course, check out our Flickr page. Players will switch to tee times tomorrow, and the lead card is set to go off at 11:30am. A complete listing of the scores can be seen at pdga.com. Can anyone catch the leaders as they aim to be crowned the victors of the 2015 Aussie Open? Only time will tell, and we can hardly wait. See you tomorrow!