The Courier-Mail

Bourke bags a few tricks from the best

- JIM TUCKER

WHEN Victorian Rory Bourke found the leap from the amateur ranks too trying in 2012, a detour into caddying gave him insights from Tiger Woods and Adam Scott to transform his approach.

The edge he has added to his game has converted to wins in Bunbury and Yeppoon this year and has given him a shot at his biggest tournament prize at the Queensland Open.

Bourke (68-71) yesterday jumped to the lead at fiveunder-par at tricky Brookwater but any one of the 22 players in hot pursuit at even par or better are in the hunt over the closing two rounds.

Seasoned pros David Brans- don (69-71), with 12 birdies across his two rounds, Michael Sim (69-71) and New Zealand PGA champion Matthew Millar (69-71) are the big dangers at one shot back.

Bourke, 27, admitted he had a rough start in the pro ranks in 2012 after finishing second at the Scottish Amateur and a long-time role in Victorian teams.

He flipped to caddying for close friend Jin Jeong, the Korean-born pro from Victoria, when he won the 2013 Perth Internatio­nal and a different world opened up.

As a caddie, he listened, learned and watched in groups featuring Woods, Scott, Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter and Martin Kaymer.

“I went to Europe caddying for Jin and was fortunate to be involved in groups that included some of the world’s best players,’’ Bourke said.

“The whole experience showed me what you need to do to be successful.

“Those players don’t make mistakes like a lot of amateurs or younger pros.

“They tighten up a few things and it goes from there.’’

Bourke was refining chipping and bunker shots two hours after his four-birdie round yesterday, so diligent practice is certainly a key trait.

He is also relaxed. He made a detour to Ipswich on Tuesday to visit a dog breeder to see the eight-week-old French Bulldog he is buying and has named Professor.

Some prominent names missed the five-over cut mark yesterday, with Brad Kennedy (79-72), Stephen Leaney (76-76), Matt Griffin (78-75) and Jake Higginbott­om (75-79) coming unstuck.

 ??  ?? CADDY TRACK: Rory Bourke leads the Queensland Open.
CADDY TRACK: Rory Bourke leads the Queensland Open.

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