Date: December 02, 2016
Author: Mark Hayes

Hall, Varner cash in as PGA resumes

A storm interruption often spells trouble for those near the top of the leaderboard, but not so today at the Australian PGA Championship.

With the loss of momentum a real fear, Melbourne’s Ash Hall and American Harold Varner III delivered early at Royal Pines today when the storm-hit round one wound up.

Varner, who kept his US PGA Tour card in his rookie season this year and was runner-up here last year, played his final four holes in two under par to join Queenslander Andrew Dodt at seven under with a 7m birdie on the 18th.

And even hotter was Hall, the recent runner-up at the Emirates Australian Open, who rattled off birdies at the 12th, 14th, 15th and 18th to make it a three-way tie after the first round.

Other players also made a move in the benign early conditions.

Mathew Griffin, chasing the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia’s Order of Merit title, added three more birdies to his overnight total of three under to sit at six under and just one back, while Ryan Fox and Julian Suri were one further back at five under.

Play in round two began almost immediately with several big names in the battle to make the cut of the top 60 and ties, including Rod Pampling, Jaco Van Zyl, Peter Uihlein, defending champ Nathan Holman, Marcus Fraser, Edoardo Molinari, YE Yang and amateur sensation Curtis Luck.