Friday, 01 December 2017
Marc Leishman  (Getty Images)
Marc Leishman (Getty Images)

Marc Leishman carded an excellent 65 to take a share of the clubhouse lead on day two of the Australian PGA Championship.

The Australian began the day a shot behind co-overnight leader Adam Bland but joined him at 12 under thanks to an eagle and seven birdies, with countryman Bland carding a second consecutive 66.

At 13th in the Official World Golf Ranking, Leishman is the highest ranked of the home players at RACV Royal Pines Resort and it was Australians who dominated the leaderboard.

Cameron Smith and Jordan Zunic were at nine under, two shots clear of James Nitties, Brett Rankin and defending champion Harold Varner III - who finished with four birdies.

Leishman picked up four shots in his last four holes on Thursday and he carried that momentum into round two with birdies on the tenth and 11th.

A bogey followed on the 12th after finding the water  but he birdied the 14th after a stunning tee-shot and eagled the next for the second day in a row from eight feet.

A beautiful approach set up another birdie on the 17th but a bogey on the 18th after finding the trees off the tee saw him turn in 32.

He made anoher birdie on the first, took advantage of the par five third and then put his tee-shot on the fifth to tap-in range before parring his way home.

Bland is playing just his 25th European Tour event but had his two best results last season, finishing third at the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth and in a tie for fifth at the Fiji International.

The 35 year old picked up shots on the tenth, 12th and 17th to turn in 33. Further birdies on the third and sixth had him within one of the lead and, while he dropped a shot on the seventh, he bounced back with a birdie-birdie finish.

Queensland-native Smith was bogey-free in his 67, picking up shots on the 13th, 15th, 16th, second and ninth.

Zunic made gains on the third, ninth, 12th and 14th but they were sandwiched by bogeys on the second and 15th before he picked up another birdie on the 17th.

American Varner made a hat-trick of birdies from the 15th but dropped a shot on the 18th before a run of five pars preceded his big finish.

Nitties had six birdies and three bogeys in his 69, while Rankin made four birdies with a single dropped shot.

Dane Joachim B Hansen made a flying start with birdies on the first, third and fifth but played his last 13 holes level par to sit at six under alongside Peter Senior.

The 58 year old rolled back the years on Thursday with a bogey-free 67 and followed it with a 71 containing four birdies and three bogeys.

Masters Tournament champion Sergio Garcia holed a ten-footer on the fourth to also sit at six under after six holes.

Nathan Holman - the 2016 champion -  was five under alongside fellow Australian Daniel Nisbet.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1SMITH, CameronAUS18-18
2ZUNIC, JordanAUS18-18
3BLAND, AdamAUS18-17
T4BRANSDON, DavidAUS18-14
T4LEISHMAN, MarcAUS18-14
6VARNER III, HaroldUSA18-12

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