Muriwai's Mark Hutson and Amelia Garvey (Kaiapoi Golf Club) stamped their authority on the New Zealand Stroke Play Championships with contrasting rounds at the Hastings Golf Club yesterday.
While Hutson backed up his spectacular first round 67 with a solid three under 69, Garvey backed up her solid round one 73 with a course record equalling seven under 67. Hutson takes a two-shot lead into the weekend's final two rounds.
Following a blemish free first round, Hutson dropped a shot on his opening hole, the par five 10th.
Four birdies in the next five holes steadied the ship and saw him hit double digits under par and open up a commanding lead.
Further dropped shots at the 18th and eighth holes were offset by birdies on the fifth and sixth for another round in the 60s.
"There were a few silly mistakes but overall it was pretty solid and I made enough birdies to post a good number. It was just a couple of poor shots [yesterday]; a wedge shot on 10 which I put in the bunker and a bad swing on eight," said Hutson.
"One of my outcome goals [yesterday] was to get to double digits under par and I've achieved that. It would have been nice to be a few better, but overall I'm pleased with where I'm at."
When asked about the key to his game, Hutson was quick to give praise to his flat stick.
"I've been putting really well but I'm also hitting enough greens to give myself good chances with the putter. It would mean a lot to me to win this week. There are a lot of good players behind me, so it's not time yet to think about what could be."
Leading the chasing pack on eight under par is Canterbury's Hilton Reid (Russley Golf Club) who followed up his first round 69 with a well compiled five under par 67. Reid's round included six birdies and one bogey.
Garvey's course record equalling seven under 67 came in the calm early morning conditions at the Hastings Golf Club and saw her end the day with a three-shot lead over Alanna Campbell, who impressed in the afternoon, also finishing with a course record equalling 67.
Garvey, who held a share of the overnight lead, excelled on the Bridge Pa course with a bogey free round that included seven birdies.
Garvey started with a run of three birdies in a row from the third hole before narrowly missing a fourth on the par five sixth hole.
Further birdies on the seventh and eighth saw her turn at five under for the day and increase her lead. A solid back nine with birdies on the 12th and 18th saw her sign for the course record equalling score.