Date: December 14, 2007
Author: Steve Orme at The Australian

O’Hern joins Felton on top

Nick O&aposHern has joined fellow Western Australian Kim Felton atop a crowded leaderboard at eight-under par on day-two of the MFS Australian Open in Sydney. O&aposHern shot a blistering 66 in perfect sunshine, including seven birdies and just one bogey, and is now perfectly poised to mount a serious assault for the Stonehaven Cup over the weekend. Overnight leader Lee Williamson is one of four players in a four-way tie for second at seven-under after a roller-coaster second-round which featured an eagle, five birdies and seven bogeys. Twice a winner of his national Open, Robert Allenby is also among those a single shot back after a two-under-par 70 that so easily could have been several shots lower. A scintillating 66 was enough to vault Novocastrian James Nitties to minus-seven while Andrew Bonhomme also hung tough with a second-round 70. But the low-round on Friday belonged to veteran Craig Parry, who fired a bogey-free course-record equalling 64 – Steve Elkington and Greg Norman also boast rounds of eight-under on the tough Australian layout – to move to minus-six for the tournament. Wayne Perske will resume at six-under having posted a 69, while Steve Jones, playing in the final group of the day, made it back-to-back 69&aposs to start the tournament and move to minus-six . Stuart Appleby took advantage of an early start with a four-under-par effort highlighted by four birdies and a spectacular eagle at the par-five fifth, to move to five-under alongside impressive American Brandt Snedeker. A cluster of golfers sit a further shot adrift including Geoff Ogilvy, whose campaign stalled with a level-par-round. Aaron Baddeley (71), Peter Lonard (70) are among a sea of players at minus-three including Ryan Moore from the USA and New Zealander David Smail. Nathan Green (70), Paul Sheehan (70) and Rod Pampling (70) have their work cut out at minus-two, but will safely make the halfway cut which will likely be made at even par with several groups still remaining on the course. Defending champion John Senden is shaping as the most notable absentee on the weekend after a disappointing 74 left him at plus-one for the championship.