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Adam Scott surges to summit alongside David Micheluzzi in Melbourne

Adam Scott surges to summit alongside David Micheluzzi in Melbourne

Adam Scott eagled the last in a brilliant course-record-equalling 63 to share the lead with David Micheluzzi heading into the weekend at the ISPS HANDA Australian Open.

The 2009 champion had started the day six shots behind fellow home favourite and overnight leader Micheluzzi but carded five birdies and that closing eagle at Victoria Golf Club to soar to the summit at eight under.

Micheluzzi had maintained his three-shot advantage for much of the day but bogeyed the 16th and last at Kingston Heath Golf Club to sign for a 71.

Australia's Haydn Barron, Kiwi Josh Geary and American Gunner Wiebe were the nearest challengers three shots back.

Home favourite Hannah Green leads the women's event on 11 under, while World Number One Kipp Popert has a one stroke advantage over Ireland's Brendan Lawlor in the Australian All Abilities Championship @ the ISPS HANDA Australian Open - the opening event of the 2023 G4D Tour season.

Scott admitted he had been frustrated with his 71 on day one but was glad to harness all his experience as he looks for DP World Tour win number 12 and a second on home soil.

"It’s not the first time I’ve played terrible obviously but it is frustrating because I’m out playing in a tournament, the Australian Open, and I want to play well," he said.

"Yes, it’s frustrating but using the experience, I’ve had plenty of bad rounds in my career and had to come out the next day.

"I also pride myself on kind of not throwing in the towel. I don’t rack up big numbers too often and I also don’t withdraw playing bad, so I’m here to win the tournament this week and it can turn around quick. I have that experience as well and it did today.

"Hopefully I can keep running in this direction tomorrow. It’s always nice when the tournament can take a lot of players out of it.

"If I can play well tomorrow and anyone else can come with and it’s only a few guys in it, that’d be a great position for Sunday. Then maybe I have some advantage from experience."

Micheluzzi was relishing the chance to play in the final group on Saturday with 2013 Masters Tournament Champion Scott and was proud of himself for staying under par in round two.

"It was a grind," he said. "I didn't hit it my best. Definitely not like yesterday. All in all I'm pretty happy with the way I ground it out.

"The way I hit it was awful so to shoot under par around this course that scares the living daylights out of me, I'm pretty happy.

"It's one of the things I've dreamed of. Australian Open with Scotty, it will be insane. The amount of people that will be there and all that will be pretty cool. I'm just looking forward to it.

"I'm just going to go out and play some golf. If it's good enough it's good enough, if not, won't stress. I know I'm playing good golf going into next year or going into the next couple of events after this. I'll just keep plugging away at it and if it happens it happens. If not, then so be it, go on to the next one."

Micheluzzi bogeyed the first but hit back with a gain on the third and put an excellent approach to six feet at the sixth to turn in 35 with his three-shot advantage intact.

David Micheluzzi

He made a 30-footer on the tenth and while he gave the shot straight back on the next, he took advantage of the par-five 12th and put his tee-shot to 15 feet at the 15th to remain in control - but Scott was stalking.

The former World Number One took two putts from off the green to birdie the driveable par-four first and then put a stunning tee-shot to tap-in range at the par-three fourth.

A wonderful approach to 12 feet at the tenth was followed by a birdie from similar range at the next and when he put another excellent tee-shot to three feet at the 14th, he was right in the mix.

Micheluzzi's bogey at the 16th was quickly followed by Scott's lengthy eagle putt from just off the final green and a closing bogey from the overnight leader meant we were tied at the top.

Geary shot a 69, while Barron and Wiebe both recorded rounds of 68 to sit a shot ahead of Dane Nicolai Højgaard, German Velten Meyer, Frenchman Pierre Pineau and home duo Cameron Percy and Shae Wools Cobb.

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