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Four straight birdies in his final four holes has given Queensland’s Adam Blyth the outright lead at the NSW Open at Stonecutters Ridge, and every reason to believe he’ll be a major contender this weekend.
On a morning when the course continued to give up birdies, it was Blyth who bathed in them, grabbing four on the front and five on the back to finish with a blemish-free 63 to sit at -16, and lead the tournament by five strokes.
Overnight leader Brett Coletta (-10) will begin his challenge when he tees off in this afternoon
For Blyth, who won the South Pacific Open Championships in Noumea in September, it continues a long run of good form. Asked which round was his favourite, yesterday’s -7 in more challenging conditions, or his sublime -9 this morning, he admitted he couldn’t separate them.
“They were both very similar,” Blyth said. “Yesterday afternoon was maybe a shot harder with the breeze, but today I’ve played very strategic, especially on the par fives. It was really solid golf.”
Blyth’s girlfriend, Nicole Kelsey, has been his caddie for the past two days and it’s proving to be a winning combination. “It’s been great having her around, she takes care of all the food, nutrition. She gets all that ready for me, and she says all the right things out there. She keeps me calm,” he said.
“She talks about things not a normal caddie or golfer would talk about. She asks me about house stuff, and reading these books, and I don’t even know what she’s talking about,” he laughs.
“But it kind of takes you away and we really enjoy it.”
The challenges this morning came from Benjamin Clementson (-11) who backed up opening round of 64 with another sub-par round, Geoff Drakeford who shot five-under for the round, and Jarryd Felton who shot five-under alongside Blyth to stay well in contention at -9.
NSW amateur Kevin Yuan shot a six-under round to be at -8, and Sam Lee (-7) will also feature in the weekend.
One of the event’s major drawcards, the bomb-hitting Canadian Jamie Sadlowski (-3), has a nervous wait, with the cut line teetering at -3. His risk-reward game ensured a few birdies, but he was left to rue a poorly played fourth hole yesterday, which resulted in a five-over nine for a hole he can almost drive.
“I also had a couple of silly doubles, but there were a lot of positives, 14 birdies and an eagle. You would hope after you sign the card at the end of the two days you would be a little better than three-under,” he said.
“You look at it yesterday, four over. And then you look at today and it’s 66. I didn’t play any better today than I did yesterday. It’s just that one big blemish. Hopefully I can take some momentum next week into the open.”