Golf: Zwart takes two shot lead at Muriwai

Pieter Zwart during the Autex Muriwai Open, Muriwai Golf Club, Auckland. Photo / Simon Watts
Pieter Zwart during the Autex Muriwai Open, Muriwai Golf Club, Auckland. Photo / Simon Watts

The overnight lead obviously hasn't worried Pieter Zwart who has backed up an opening round 65 with a solid 66 on day two and holds a one shot lead at the Muriwai Open.

This is his first time holding the 36 hole lead on any Jennian Homes Charles Tour event this year and the 29 year old is handling it well.

"It's a very good feeling and I'm happy with the way I played. Going bogey free was the most pleasing part of the round," said Zwart.

"After a good trip to Fiji a while back there is a little bit of experience in this scenario, but I am certainly not going to count my chickens."

His iron play and composure has been the difference so far after only missing three greens in two days, which is unheard of in the brisk breezes on the links.

"It hasn't really sunk it to be honest but I'm sure I can continue with my form.

I have kept it in play and only missed three greens over the two days and I haven't missed with the putter."

With his name sitting firmly on the 52 dozen Asahi for lowest round of the week, coupled with the tournament lead, a windy weekend may not be the worst result for the Hawkes Bay professional.

"I tend to play just as well in the wind because of my low ball flight, so happy either way if the wind picks up over the weekend."

The man who will be hoping for a different result is Tyler Hodge who is hot on his heels after also carding two very solid rounds of 66 and 67.

"I'm pretty happy with that start and my game is feeling good. I have been in this position a little bit, not so much as a pro, but I think I know what to do, it's just all about going out there and doing it," said a determined Hodge.

Hodge may be looking for his maiden professional win, but one trophy he can't get his hands on is the Jennian Homes Trophy. This is what the players strive for throughout the long gruelling season and it is a lolly scramble for who will take it home at this stage.
Brad Shilton is now the front-runner after having matching rounds of 68 to start the week. Shilton now sits in third alone for the tournament and will be looking to make it a double win on the Muriwai Links by Sunday afternoon.

Jim Cusdin and Daniel Hiller have both gone even par once again to hover in contention for the Jennian Homes Trophy. They will need to cut into that lead over the weekend but another amateur to keep a close eye on is Tasman's Ryan Chisnall who is currently in fourth place alone which will make for an exciting finish.

Canterbury's Momoka Kobori was sitting comfortably on a two shot lead over fellow Cantabrian Amelia Garvey in the women's field, but after a busy day on the links the tables have turned with Momoka shooting an out of character five over par round.

Garvey played it safe with an even par round but is also joined by Australian professional Ali Orchard who has recorded two rounds of 71 this week to tie for the lead at Muriwai.
This is not a first for Garvey as she has shown great progress in 2016, however she is yet to take the spoils and win her maiden Jennian Homes Charles Tour event.

"It's been a good year so far and I am just looking to continue that this weekend. I have been in contention but haven't got the win yet so I am looking to change that this week," said Garvey.

It won't be easy with three professionals breathing down her neck including Jenna Hunter and Rica Tse but Ali Orchard will be one to watch come Sunday afternoon.

"I am happy with my start and hopefully I can build on that from here and be in the same position on Sunday," said Orchard.

"I love playing here in New Zealand and being in contention certainly helps."

Now the cut has been made players will be gifted a slight sleep in as they look to make hay in the weekend at the Autex Muriwai Open.

- NZ Herald

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