Overnight leader Adam Henwood has powered out to an imposing four-shot lead after the second round of the NSW Senior Open at Thurgoona Country Club Resort, setting up a thrilling final round.
The Victorian carded a second-round five-under-par 67 to go with his opening 66 to establish a handy gap from The NSW pair Peter O’Malley and Peter Lonard, who carded rounds of 65 and 68, respectively.
Four golfers sit tied in fourth place: Queenslander Simon Tooman, who added a handy two-under par 70 to his opening round 69, Scott Barr (68), Nigel Lane (68) and Champions Tour Member David McKenzie (70).
In much of a repeat of his opening round, Henwood seemed at ease with the firm Thurgoona layout. Despite starting with a bogey on the 10th, he soon bounced back with a neat birdie on the reachable par-five 11th. Pars followed from the 12th to the 17th before a timely birdie fell on the 18th (his 9th of the day).
Turning for home, Henwood hit the throttle. Birdies at the first, second and fourth saw the 52-year-old get to ten under. An ill-timed bogey on the tricky par-four fifth didn’t stop Henwood’s roll, with birdies on the next two holes more than making up for the error.
“Yeah, nice!” Henwood said when told that he had a four-shot lead after his round. “I didn’t know”
“I wasn’t looking at the scores; I was just trying to hit one shot at a time.”
Despite the ease with which his effort looked to those following, Henwood said the course and wind conditions still made things tricky.
“It would blow and stop and blow and stop. It kept changing directions, and it was tricky to pick the right stick.”
With a final round grouping alongside the pair of Peters, O’Malley and Lonard, Henwood said he was ready for the challenge and something he was looking forward to.
“It will be awesome, playing alongside Lonard and O’Malley. They are great guys and amazing players, so what a treat!”
The chasing pair, Lonard and O’Malley, were equally happy with their day’s efforts.
O’Malley, who carded the equal low round of the day, a seven-under 65, was especially delighted, especially after needing a cortisone injection to his back last week.
“A bit rusty yesterday, but it was vintage POM today,” O’Malley grinned.
“I didn’t do anything really wrong, that was the key.”
” I was having some issues with my back when I got back from Europe, so I went and had an MRI and had a cortisone (injection) last week.”
The Dr said don’t play until Wednesday, so it took a couple of days to get right.”
O’Malley said he would be more than ready when told he was paired alongside Lonard and Henwood in tomorrow’s final grouping.
“Adam’s had a good score today, so yeah, it will be good, and well, between Lonard and I, it will be a bit of a battle of the electric buggies,” he grinned.
Lonard, while quietly satisfied with his second round, was disappointed to have left a couple of opportunities to slip on Thurgoona’s reachable par fives.
“I played the par-fives poorly. If I had played them better, I had a good chance of shooting a really good score.”
Despite Henwood’s lead getting out to four, Lonard said he wasn’t too phased about where would begin tomorrow’s final round.
“If I’m within four (shots) with nine holes to go, that’s all I need to be.”