Date: December 04, 2009

Appleby defies wind to build lead

Stuart Appleby has defied relentless winds to post a second straight six-under 66 at the New South Wales Golf Club and lead the Australian Open by six shots, as over half of the field failed to complete their second rounds after extreme weather delayed play on day two. Appleby, who made pars at his opening two holes of the day before officials called a halt to proceedings at 8.30am, made light work of the brutal conditions posting five birdies and an eagle. Fresh from a spectacular 66 in strong winds on Thursday, the 38-year-old was in a class of his own finishing 10-shots clear of Greg Chalmers who is the next best of the handful of players to complete their second round. “It&aposs all about capitalising on you opportunities,” Appleby said after his blistering performance. “Luck of the draw is a saying you can use at this course.” “Wind is your biggest opponent on this course and it does force you to second guess … I happened to have a lot of good clubs in my hand and controlled the distance well today.” “On this course it&aposs easy to make a mistake over something small. I&aposm very respectful of this golf course and the weather that goes with it.” “I&aposm swinging well – I wouldn&apost say I was in the zone though.” Adam Scott, who has 12 holes to play in his second round, sits in outright second at six-under, one clear of overnight leader Scott Hend and Peter Wilson, who are also yet to complete round two. Nick O&aposHern and American David Oh, who will return to the course when the second round continues at 6.30 on Saturday morning, are a further stroke back. James Nitties, who began day-two one shot off the pace, struggled to two-over par through six holes to sit in a share of seventh place alongside Aaron Baddeley who fired two birdies and an eagle in six holes to move back into contention at minus-three overall. Peter O&aposMalley signed for a 74 but is well placed at one-under alongside seven players in a share of 14th. John Daly remains at even par through six holes alongside Michael Sim, while veteran Scott Laycock will be around for the weekend after firing an impressive three-under 69 to finish at plus-one for the championship. 2007 Stonehaven Cup winner Craig Parry bounced back from an opening 80 posting the second best round of the day – a five-under 67 – to sit inside the cut-line at plus-three overall. Meanwhile, pre-tournament favourite Geoff Ogilvy faces a nervous wait after posting a disappointing 76 to fall to plus-five, while 2006 winner John Senden is also on the outside looking in after posting a two-over 74. Round two resumes Saturday morning at 6:30am.