After a dream first round at the Rolex Trophy, Daniel Gaunt found the going rather tougher on day two but drew on his reserves of Aussie grit and determination to stay in contention.
Gaunt set the early pace courtesy of a flawless opening round of 63, but the man from Melbourne swiftly relinquished his overnight lead after finding trouble at the part three third hole, where he lost his ball after overshooting the green with his tee shot.
The resulting triple bogey saw Gaunt drop back into the chasing pack but, to his credit, he fought his way back after the turn with a trio of birdies to move to within one shot of the lead at the midway stage of the elite 42-man tournament, which is played in a Pro-Am format.
“It felt like I shot 100 today after yesterday’s round,” joked Gaunt after signing for a 72 to remain on nine under par.
“This is a game of fine margins, and whereas everything went my way yesterday, everything went against me today. There really wasn’t that much difference between how I struck the ball today and yesterday – certainly not ten shots difference anyway.
“But I was pleased with how I kept calm and came back strong at the end. After nine holes, one of my playing partners said she’s a fighter and told me I had to fight too, so I did as I was told! I played a lot better on the back nine and my team-mates also started playing a lot better, so it was much more enjoyable than the front nine.
“It was good to restore some confidence and belief and if I can take that feeling into tomorrow’s round, then I should be OK. I could’ve easily played myself out of the tournament today, but I hung in there and in the end I got the rewards. It would’ve been nice to put some daylight between me and the rest of the guys, but it wasn’t to be and we live to fight another day tomorrow.”