Taylor Macdonald has seen and done a lot in an illustrious amateur career.
But now, at 22, he’s re-emerging as a power with one of the oldest tricks in the book — consistency.
The stocky Queenslander fired a tournament-low 68 today to vault to the Riversdale Cup midway lead at five under.
He’s three shots clear of the field after another tough day for scoring on a superbly manicured Riversdale Golf Club.
In the concurrent women’s event, Victorian Julienne Soo is using her own brand of consistency to lead by a shot at halfway.
Soo, who plays at Woodlands, has been prominent in several events this summer and backed up her first-round two-over-par 74 with a 75 today to be three over and leader by three shots from New Zealand’s Munchin Keh.
But Macdonald’s hot finish was the talk of day two on a course with extremely fast greens that heavily penalise any errant approaches.
But the Redcliffe member found the course to his liking and cashed in some solid iron play late in his round when his putter caught fire.
“I didn’t hit it as good as yesterday, but I hit it closer somehow and rolled in a couple of putts late in the round,” he said.
“I’m getting more consistent and when I play good I’m really comfortable and when I’m not quite on cue, I’m not as far from it as I used to be.
“And that makes things a lot better than they were 6-12 months ago.”
Macdonald, once Australia’s top-ranked amateur and who already has big wins at Keperra, Federal and the Vic Amateur under his belt, said he was hopeful of getting back that mantle.
“The fire’s there, for sure,” he said.
“There are always 5-6 blokes around the top of that ladder and they can all beat each other on any given day.
“It’s just a matter of being more consistent – it would be good to get back on top, get my world ranking back down a bit, but I’m just playing golf really.”
Macdonald will have to hold off a host of big names this weekend in the time-honoured event.
Golf Australia national squad member Lucas Herbert fired an even-par 72 today to stay two under and spearhead the chasing pack.
He’s alongside first-round leader Cameron John (69-73), Sydney’s Travis Smythe (70-72) and the day’s other big mover, Cranbourne’s David Micheluzzi, whose 70 put him right in the mix.
Golf Australia national squad player Brett Coletta is firmly in the mix at one over, while his playing partner of the first two days, Royal Melbourne’s Tom Power-Horan is one under overall.
Of the other big names, Ben Eccles fired a 75 today to be two over, national champion Cam Davis shot an even-par 72 to be four over and world No.9 Ryan Ruffels shot a 74 to be five over.
Zach Murray fired an improved 72 to sit at four over alongside Jarryd Felton, but their national squad teammate Cory Crawford missed the seven-over cut by one after a second-round 78.
The women’s cut was made at 19 over, with 22 players remaining in that field and the bare minimum 48 in the men’s event.