Perhaps the only thing tougher than a record-setting, personal best round in your National Open is backing it up with a solid second round, but thats exactly what Ben Campbell did at the The Hills today.
The 25-year-old led the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open with a 10-under 61 on Thursday and produced a five-under 67 at the neighbouring par 72 The Hills course today to be one shot short of Australian leader and past champion, Brad Kennedy.
"Five-under was always good out there, so I cant complain. I played pretty solid all day, so it was nice," Campbell said.
"I holed two or three putts outside 10, 15 feet which kept the momentum going. I didnt quite hit the ball as good as yesterday, but its always tough backing up a good round like that."
There were no overnight nerves for the affable New Zealander and he will take the same positive attitude into the weekend.
"You cant protect a lead. You're going to have to get into the high 20s to win this - unless the weather does anything different. Youve just got to keep attacking and make sure you are looking forward and not looking back," he said.
"Obviously its a long way away, but to get a Kiwi to the top by the end of the week would be nice."
One of those Kiwis who will also be trying to hunt down Kennedy is Mike Hendry who is three strokes behind the Australian. The two have been paired together this week and have fed off each other's form.
The 37-year-old Japan Golf Tour player has been shaking off the after effects of some sickness he picked up while playing at the WGC-Mexico Championship and was happy to shoot a six-under 65 at Millbrook Resort today to go to 13-under for the tournament.
"I think I made the most of my round today. It was a day when I could have easily only had even par, or one under. I was able to capitalise on the good shots that I had and save par on the bad ones," Hendry said
Hendry is a big fan of the Millbrook Resort and The Hills courses being used this week. He finished third at last years New Zealand Open in Queenstown and won the NZPGA Championship at The Hills in 2013.
"Its great going out there with everyone in the crowd supporting you because you are a Kiwi. I come down here, I always feel at home. Queenstowns an amazing place and the weathers fantastic," he said. "You get here and you get good vibes. Ive been successful around here before and Im always happy to get back."
Another performance that caught the eye of many this morning was that of Ryan Chisnall who is the leading and only amateur to make the cut in Queenstown this week.
After two matching rounds of four-under the Tasman representative is sitting in a tie for 18th at eight-under.
Chisnall is New Zealands number one ranked amateur and is certainly showing it on the countrys biggest stage this week, looking extremely comfortable at this level. Playing alongside second placed Campbell is helping lift the amateur the greater heights.
"Its been a great first few days playing alongside Ben and I am very pleased with where I am sitting," said Chisnall.
"I have been feeling a little under the weather as you could probably tell from my compulsive coughing, so to still remain calm and produce a couple of good rounds was awesome."
The weekend will now be hosted solely by the Millbrook Resort as we get to the business end of the week and with moving day upon us. Golf fans from New Zealand will flock to the resort to find out if a Kiwi can make their move and attempt to break this painful 14-year drought.
- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Golf NZ