Lead changes as rain delays Classic
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.