Ros­berg stuns F1 with re­tire­ment bomb­shell

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Aus­tralia’s An­drew Dodt fired a five-un­der 67 to hold a two-shot half­way lead in the Aus­tralian PGA Cham­pi­onship with Adam Scott mak­ing his move at the Royal Pines Re­sort yes­ter­day.

Overnight leader Dodt fought his way to the top of the leader board af­ter Ash­ley Hall carded a three-un­der 69 to be the early club­house leader.

Dodt holed six birdies and a bo­gey in the low­est round of the day to get to 12 un­der and lead at the half­way stage of the Euro­pean Tour co-sanc­tioned event. World num­ber seven and 2013 US Mas­ters cham­pion Adam Scott surged home in 32 for a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive round of 68 to be at eight un­der and four strokes be­hind Dodt.

New Zealan­der Ryan Fox was in joint third with Scott af­ter a three-un­der 69 and a shot clear of Amer­i­can Harold Varner III, who carded a par 72. Dodt, who has made just seven of 20 cuts this sea­son, is chas­ing his third Euro­pean Tour ti­tle.

“The first hand­ful of holes were re­ally solid then I made a few birdies,” Dodt said. “Then the back nine was as good as it gets. I hit a lot of fair­ways, a lot of greens and holed some putts.” Hall made birdies on the 12th, 14th, 15th and last in his re­main­ing seven holes while Varner’s birdie-birdie fin­ish to com­plete his weather-de­layed first round lifted him to the top of the leader­board with Dodt. Hall added a hat-trick of gains from the 13th and when he made an­other birdie on the third, he was four shots clear. A triple-bo­gey was to fol­low on the next hole as he found the water and missed a short putt be­fore re­cov­er­ing with birdies on the fifth and eighth.

Scott made a slow start, bo­gey­ing the sec­ond but he got back level on the ninth and that proved a cat­a­lyst as he came home in at 32, adding birdies on the tenth, 12th, 15th and 16th.

“It was a good day to do it be­cause it wasn’t that easy,” Scott said. “My strik­ing was crisp at the ball. It was strong. “I started driv­ing the ball prop­erly and it car­ried onto the rest of my game as well.”

Varner bat­tled back from back-to-back dou­ble-bo­geys on the 15th and 16th with three birdies in his last five holes to sit a shot ahead of Aus­tralian John Sen­den and fel­low Amer­i­can Ju­lian Suri. Greg Chalmers, Brad Kennedy and Thai­land’s Natipong Srithong were at five un­der.

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