Lead changes as rain de­lays Clas­sic

Taranaki Daily News - - Sport - CHRISTO­PHER REIVE

In a day of lead changes, it was Auck­land’s Daniel Pearce who found him­self at the top of the heap af­ter a rain-short­ened sec­ond day of the Nga¯motu Clas­sic in New Ply­mouth on Fri­day.

Af­ter an open­ing round twounder par 70 saw Pearce sit­ting fourth in the Charles Tour event, the Auck­lan­der was cruis­ing at six­un­der-par through nine holes be­fore the rain ar­rived.

Play was sus­pended around 2:30pm due to rain and two hours later the call was made to call play off for the day with the ma­jor­ity of the field through at least nine holes. Those still to fin­ish their sec­ond rounds re­sum­ing around 7:30am on Satur­day.

When play was called off, Pearce sat one shot ahead of Fraser Wilkins, who had fin­ished his full round, with Jared Pen­der and Chang Gi Lee one shot fur­ther back in a tie for third.

Pen­der and Lee had also fin­ished their full rounds.

Open­ing round lead­ers Grant Moor­head, Pi­eter Zwart and Kieran Muir were un­able to main­tain their early form. Zwart and Muir were both one-over when play stopped, drop­ping to 11th place, while Moor­head dropped 16 places to 17th af­ter fin­ish­ing his sec­ond round at three-over.

Among the other big movers through the sec­ond round were Auck­land’s Troy Ropiha and Waikato’s Nick Coxon, who found them­selves jump into the top 10.

Ropiha seemed to han­dle the dis­mal con­di­tions with ease in his round which in­cluded six birdies as he posted a five-un­der 67 to move 14 places up the leader­board into fifth.

Coxon, who strug­gled to a twoover 74 in his open­ing round, showed no signs of re­peat­ing as he too shot 67 in his sec­ond round to be one of the high­est climbers of the day - jump­ing 28 places into eighth.

De­fend­ing cham­pion of the Jen­nian Homes Charles Tour event and lo­cal pro­fes­sional Do­minic Bar­son was look­ing to turn his luck around in the sec­ond round af­ter open­ing with a three-over 75, and was one-un­der for the round when play was called off.

In the women’s field, Rose Zheng re­mained one shot ahead of Paku­ranga club mate Caryn Khoo.


Mark Hut­son tees off dur­ing the Nga¯motu Clas­sic in new Ply­mouth.

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