Date: March 06, 2009
Author: Dean Wedlake at Clearwater, Sportal

Barnes in a positive mood

The bigger picture of being atop the NZ PGA Championship leaderboard left Kurt Barnes in a positive spirit despite a late double bogey on Friday that he attributed to the worst two shots he hit all week. Walking to the eighth tee – his 17th hole – as play wound down in the second round at Clearwater, big-hitting Australian Barnes had the lead by two at 11-under and all was rosy in his world. That was before a &aposspooned&apos three-wood rode the breeze into the tussock grass where Barnes was forced to take an unplayable lie and drop a shot. His third went awry again and plugged in a hazard, followed by a fourth that &aposluckily&apos snuck onto the green where he was able to two-putt for a potentially round-ruining six. But if he was boiling away inside, he did a fine job concealing it after signing for a one-under 71 and a two-round total of nine-under 135. “It&aposs not too bad. You&aposve always got to expect it – we&aposve played the course pretty dormant the past couple of days,” Barnes said. “They&aposre the worst two shots I hit all week so I&aposm doing alright.” It was unlikely he would be able to match his lethal touch on the greens the previous day when he needed only 23 putts. He didn&apost, yet there were still positives to take out of Friday that would hold him in good stead for the final two rounds. “To be honest I probably hit the ball a lot cleaner today than what I did yesterday.” “Obviously I don&apost think I hit it as close to the hole as I did yesterday and put a bit more heat on the putter but 23 putts on any course is pretty good. ” “Today I hit a lot more greens and really didn&apost make many errors and it&aposs certainly looking good for the weekend.” Barnes has been surveying scoreboards all week and that is unlikely to change, even if the nerves begin to bubble over as a result. “It doesn&apost really bother me – I&aposm a player who likes to know where I stand.” “Obviously the first two days people are trying to get themselves into a position.” “I&aposve done that, now the weekend is just going and doing what I&aposve done the last two days.” “I&aposve looked at leaderboards – I&aposm going to do exactly the same thing I&aposve done Thursday and today.” “Obviously Sunday&aposs a different day but if I keep playing the way I&aposm playing I expect to be somewhere around.”