Golf: Geary on course to Open victory

By Dylan Cleaver

Josh Geary has a seven-shot lead with one round remaining. Photo / Getty Images
Josh Geary has a seven-shot lead with one round remaining. Photo / Getty Images

There are times when it feels like Josh Geary is playing a different golf course to the rest of the field. This week at the Akarana Open on the Charles Tour is one of those times.

The 30-year-old, who shot a course record eight-under par 62 in round one, carded a flawless six-under par 64 yesterday to claim a seven-shot lead over Ryan Fox (66) and Leighton James (65) heading into the final round of the weather-affected 54-hole event.

Bay of Plenty professionals Jared Pender (67) and Peter Lee (65) are in a share of fourth place on a six-under par total, eight shots back from the leader.

Geary, who has won the Carrus Open three times, is looking to claim his first Charles Tour title outside of his home province.

The former Web.Com Tour player was pleased to be the runaway leader but frustrated with his second-round effort, which he believed could have been so much better.

"It is normally pretty tough [to back up a good round] but the way my game is right now it was pretty comfortable today," said the Mount Maunganui pro.

The scary thing for the rest of the field is he has left a lot out on the course. He had a putt for birdie on three horseshoe out, on four he missed a birdie on the top edge, and hit it close on eight but also missed that chance.

Auckland amateur Tae Koh, who was Geary's playing partner for the opening two rounds, said: "He is putting well, hitting the ball well, everything really... It has been impressive to watch."

Meanwhile, a poor second round of 76 has seen Kiwi golfer Danny Lee drop down the leaderboard at the RBC Heritage tournament in South Carolina to a share of 96th.

Thunderstorms meant not every player could complete their second round yesterday but after Lee's five-over effort he is all but certain to miss the cut given he is at six-over for the week, with the projected cut line at three-over.

When play was called off for the day, Manawatu professional Tim Wilkinson was in a share of 16th at one-under for the tournament, although he had only played three holes in his second round.

Meanwhile, on the LPGA Tour, Lydia Ko dropped to a tie for 27th after shooting a two-over 74 in her third round at the Lotte Championship in Hawaii.

- Herald on Sunday

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