It’s plain sailing for Duntryleague’s Robert Payne after the second round of the Men’s NSW Amateur Championship at Bathurst Golf Club.
Payne sits alone at the top of the leaderboard after carding a one-under par 70 to go with his first round two-over par 73. In second place two shots behind is the first round leader, New Zealand’s Michael Barlthrop. Concord Golf Club’s Ken Brewer and Queensland’s Michael Minogue are equal third position another one shot back.
“I drove the ball well today. I didn’t make any triple bogeys today, that was pleasing,” Payne laughed.
Officials had to reorganise draw for the second round of the championship after fog caused a two-hour delay for the morning players. After the haze had lifted, a fresh Westerly wind arrived to test the mettle of the afternoon field.
The delay and wind did little to upset Payne however, even though he arrived for his adjusted tee-time three hours early.
?“ I was here three hours before teeing off,” he smiled.
After a bad start, Payne made a couple of solid pars before saving par with a good chip on the 13th, before following it up with a birdie on the 14th.
“I hit a beautiful drive down the 7th (his 16th) to set up another birdie, all I had to do was get into the clubhouse from there,”
“I putted well when it mattered,” Payne smiled.
“I’m a very strong wind player, very confident.”
Payne believes his local knowledge will be the key advantage in the final round and he’s happy to be playing in the last group with his nearest competitors. With some wet weather predicted, Payne could be even tougher to catch.
“My local knowledge is a benefit, and with some severe weather coming, I think I could have a distinct advantage tomorrow,”
As for coming face to face with his opponents in tomorrow's seeded final round, Payne grinned.
“I’ve got a good front running record; I prefer the seeded draw. My opponents can see me, and I can watch them,” he smiled.
As for any particular final round preparations, Payne doesn’t intend to change a thing.
“I’m just going home to a normal tea with the Mrs tonight. I’m not changing anything,” ??“Tomorrow I’ll just try and hit fairways and greens. It’s up to them to catch me, not me come back to them,” he laughed.