Voices in Michael Wright’s head make him “busy” when he gets flustered on the golf course.
He has barely heard them for two days.
The affable Queensland journeyman takes a two-shot lead into the third round of the Australian Masters after a blemish-free 68 propelled him to nine under.
And while his nearest rivals aren’t household names – South Australian Paul Spargo is -7 and Golf Australia National Squad member Todd Sinnott is -6 — the chasing pack became a promoter’s dream after a stream of late birdies in idyllic conditions at Metropolitan Golf Club.
Past champ Richard Green is tied third at -6, with Matt Griffin, Geoff Ogilvy, Mat Goggin and Stephen Allan among a group at -4.
And just to add spice to the weekend action, a 68 from world No.2 Adam Scott helped him to -3 and right in the mix with local favourite Marcus Fraser (68).
But Wright, 40, is in the zone and will take some running down.
He didn’t even realise after his round yesterday that he’d gone 35 holes without a bogey after an opening five on Thursday morning.
“I didn’t know that. Yeah, after the bogey on the first, I just maintained the calmness and just kept on going, I suppose,” Wright said.
“There weren’t too many (voices) around (my head) today. It was nice.
“There’s a few but yeah managed to really keep them under wraps today and … I felt a lot more relaxed in my body and a lot less tension in my arms and so that relaxes me all over and that produces good golf shots.”
Wright, a three-time winner of the Australian PGA Tour, said he wouldn’t be fazed by the pressure of the final group on Saturday.
“Obviously I’m nervous and apprehensive and (anxious) and all that sort of thing, but it’s just a totally different beast than when you’re making the cut,” he said with a smile of a journeyman.
“And it’s one that I’m a lot more comfortable with than the one when you’re struggling to make the cut. “
And with Scott predicting someone would go as low as a 63 tomorrow if conditions remained benign, Wright said he wouldn’t fear the two-time defending champion should he be that player.
“I’m not concerned with what he’s doing,” Wright said defiantly.
“It’s definitely a course that I’m playing the course. I’m not playing any other guys no matter who is in the field.
“Obviously he’s a fantastic player and I would expect him to play well over the weekend, but I would expect myself to play well, too. “
Spargo and 2004 Masters champ Green shared the day’s best round with 67s, the Melburnian in particular looking ominous after a good end to his European Tour season.
Past champ Stuart Appleby and dual Emirates Australian Open champion Greg Chalmers were the biggest casualties of the opening 36 holes, both missing the two-over-par cut on +5.
Of the other Golf Australia National Squad members in the field, Ryan Ruffels made a grandstand birdie finish for a 68 to finish one under.
Lucas Herbert fired a 70 to be one over while Antonio Murdaca missed the cut by a shot at +3 after a second-round 73.
Victorian amateur Tom Power-Horan had been in the mix, but went five over in his final 10 holes to finish five over.
By: Mark Hayes (Golf Australia)