Date: January 21, 2015
Author: Mark Hayes

Eccles opens hot, grabs Amateur lead

Play has resumed on day two of the Australian Amateur Championship in Sydney – and Victorian Ben Eccles is up and about early.

Both The Australian and The Lakes courses endured heavy overnight rain again, but conditions are fine and relatively still now as the second and final round of strokeplay tees off.

Eccles, the mercurial Geelong star, fired birdies on The Australian’s first, third and fourth holes to vault to the overall men’s lead at six under.

Joint overnight men’s leader Ryan Ruffles began with a birdie on the par-five first at the same venue, but gave shots back on the second and third to fall back to three under in total.

His playing partner Nick Marsh, who also started four under, is par through four holes to be second outright.

The big mover early on day two has been Queenslander Charlie Pilon who has turned in three under at The Lakes, including the event’s first hole-in-one.

Pilon, of Keperra Country Golf Club, fired a 130m nine-iron right on the money on the par-three ninth hole for his first competitive ace.

It was the youngster’s third ever hole-in-one, but the first to vault him into a tie for 10th at such an event. He’s now one under overall and looking like playing his way into the matchplay phase.

The top 64 men in the 234-strong field after today’s second round will advance to the matchplay phase beginning tomorrow.

The women’s field, led by Korean Eun Jeong Seong and Sydney’s Doey Choi at two under overnight, will be cut to the top 32 at the end of play.

Live scores: